Mauna Loa Eruption


photo courtesy of NPR

Matthew Mazur

Tourists are flocking to Volcano National Park in Hawaii to watch as the largest active volcano Mauna Loa erupts. The flowing lava has been making its way towards the critical Daniel K Inouye Highway that connects the two sides of the island. 


On November 27th, the tallest active volcano in the world erupted, causing panic due to the flowing lava heading towards the highly traveled Daniel K Inouye Highway. That was the only concern because there were no homes, communities, or buildings that were in harm’s way per CNN. 


With the large concern of it reaching the highway and making it not possible to pass, the state of Hawaii deployed its national guard for tasks such as traffic control just in case the lava does reach the highway.  Per  CNN news the lava is flowing towards the road at about 25 feet per hour but is slowing down. 


Volcano national park is a busy tourist spot to see this once-in-a-lifetime sight. Hawaii News Now mentioned that the multi-volcano eruptions had caused the park as well as Hellacopters tours to book fully through December along with all the hotels on the island.  


Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s administrator Luke Meyers said in an interview with Hawaii News Now, “We have to have a respect for such a large hazard like Mauna Loa, but it’s also very important that we understand that our mission is to keep people in property out of harm’s way.”


Mauna loa began erupting after 38 years of no activity. The last eruption was in 1984. Mauno Loa has erupted 33 times before,  the volcano used to average one eruption per 5 years although after 1950 there have only been 2 eruptions making this the third according to the United States Geological Survey. 


Mauna Loa is the world’s largest volcano. Mauna Loa stands at 13,796 feet above sea level but has a total height of around 33,500 feet because it goes down  19,700 feet below sea level.