The world’s largest active volcano erupting Hawa

Los Angeles (awp / afp) – The largest active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa, located in Hawaii, erupted Sunday evening for the first time in nearly 40 years. Spectacular, its fury does not threaten homes for the moment, but authorities and experts call for caution.

The eruption carries torrents of molten rock to the top of the volcano. It also causes thick clouds of smoke aloft above the American island of Hawaii, the largest of this Pacific archipelago. The scrolls are thus visible for more than 70 kilometers around, according to the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS).

Originally contained in the summit crater, lava now flows through fissures on Mauna Loa’s flanks. No evacuations have been ordered by authorities, but the area near the summit and some roads on the island are closed as a precaution.

“Mauna Loa’s eruption migrated from the summit into the northeast rift area, where fissures are feeding multiple lava flows,” the USGS explained on its website. There is currently no risk for homes located under the eruption area, according to the institute, which however warns of the volatility of this volcano, the largest in the world – it covers half of the island of Hawaii and its area exceeds that of all the other islands of the archipelago added together.

“The early stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can move quickly, and the location and advancement of lava flows can change rapidly,” the USGS warned.

According to the institute, the winds could also carry “volcanic gas and Pele’s hair”, volcanic glass fibers named after the Hawaiian goddess of fire, which form when droplets of lava stretch into thin filaments. under the effect of storms. Sharp as razor blades, they are dangerous for skin and eyes.

The US Weather Services (NWS) warned that volcanic ash and debris could accumulate around the volcano. This can cause breathing difficulties in the inhabitants or disrupt the operation of engines or electronic systems.

Mauna Loa, or “long mountain” in French, had not erupted since 1984. It then spewed lava for 22 days, producing lava flows that failed just seven kilometers from the city of Mauna Loa. Hilo.

Mauna Loa, which culminates at 4169 meters above sea level, is one of six active volcanoes in the Hawaiian archipelago. It has erupted 33 times since 1843.


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