Hawaii: The World’s Largest Volcano Erupts

The world’s largest active volcano erupted for the first time in 40 years this Monday, spewing lava and ash in a spectacular display of fury in Hawaii.

Rivers of molten rock were sighted at the summit of the Long Mountain, one of five volcanoes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as well as a plume of steam and smoke atop the Big Island. The authorities warned that the situation could change quickly.

The Long Mountain It has built up pressure for years, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which reported that the eruption was visible from Kona, a town on the west coast of the main island of the archipelago, some 72 kilometers away.

The eruption began around midnight Sunday and was initially contained within the caldera, the concave area at the top of the volcano, but volcanologists said Monday lava was pouring out of cracks in the sides.

“The Mauna Loa eruption moved from the top to the Northeast Fault Zone, where several lava flows are passing through the fissures”the geological survey said on its website

The office said that for now people living below the eruption zone were not under threatbut warned that the volcano was volatile.

Specialists also warn that the winds can carry volcanic gas, fine ash and strands of basalt glass known as Pele’s hair down the hill.

These threads, which can measure up to two meters, are formed when skeins of lava cool rapidly in the air. They were named after Pele, the goddess of volcanoes in Hawaii. They can be very sharp and present a potential eye and skin injury hazard.

“Big Mountain”

Authorities in Hawaii have not issued evacuation orders, despite the fact that the summit area and several highways in the region were closed. Two shelters were opened as a precaution.

An ashfall warning has been issued to the lee of the volcano and a slight buildup of ash is expected on ships in oceanic waters along the southeastern Big Island.

the volcanologist Robin George Andrews said there is a big risk if lava starts pouring out of the cracks onto the sides of the volcano.

Although there is no evidence that this is occurring in Long Mountain, “The fact is that this is a dangerous mountain that hasn’t erupted since 1984, the longest eruptive pause in its history, and so we have to be vigilant.”he tweeted.

Long Mountain It is the largest volcano on Earth by volume. Its name means “Big Mountain” and it covers half of the Big Island and is larger than the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined.

The submarine flanks of the volcano extend for several kilometers to an ocean floor which, in turn, is depressed by the great mass of Mauna Loa, causing its summit to be about 17 kilometers above its base, according to him USGS.

One of six active volcanoes in the Hawaiian archipelago, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, according to the USGS.

The most recent eruption, in 1984, lasted 22 days and produced lava flows that reached as far as four miles from Hilo, a city currently home to about 44,000 people.

The Kilaueaa volcano located on the southeast flank of the Long Mountainerupted almost continuously between 1983 and 2019. A small eruption has been taking place there for months.



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