Hawaii On Red Alert As Earthquake Swarms Detected Under World's Largest Active Volcano

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Oct 29, 2022 - 12:40 AM

The Island of Hawaii is on high alert as earthquake swarms continue around the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa. Scientists are worried about an eruption but not sure if one is imminent as magma churns underneath, generating dozens of quakes daily, according to AP News

US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Mauna Loa has been in a state of "heightened unrest" since mid-month due to daily earthquake swarms jumped from 10-20 per day to 40-50 per day. 

"Scientists believe more earthquakes are occurring because more magma is flowing into Mauna Loa's summit reservoir system from the hot spot under the earth's surface that feeds molten rock to Hawaii's volcanoes," AP said.

Hawaii's civil defense agency held a meeting earlier this week to educate residents on preparing for a possible eruption. 

"Not to panic everybody, but they have to be aware of that you live on the slopes of Mauna Loa. There's a potential for some kind of lava disaster," said Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator.

Mauna Loa is about half of the Hawaii Island landmass. So any eruption would immediately impact residents. There are about 200,000 people on the island. It last erupted in 1984, and lava flows took out homes in under two hours. 

USGS data shows hundreds of quakes have rattled the island in the last 30 days. 

USGS has placed Mauna Loa under "yellow advisory," ― signifying residents need to be prepared. 

"We would hope if Mauna Loa rocks that we would have ... days so that folks can be evacuated and notified," Dr. Andria Ellis, a geophysicist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now. 

Even though an eruption doesn't appear imminent, the rumblings underground suggest caution at what may be coming, "and at this point in time, like we always say, it's better to be prepared and be ready," said Luke Meyers, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.