Honolulu, December 7: Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, calls on the U.S. National Guard for help as residents and tourists flock to witness the rare sight.
Since its November 27 eruption, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa has been shooting jets of lava into the sky and descending massive mountains, Xinhua News Agency reports.
Officials said there was no immediate risk to communities on the Big Island yet, but lava is now creeping within two miles of a highway that connects the eastern and western halves of the Big Island.
“The leading edge of the lava flow continues to have minimal movement and is approximately two miles from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway,” the Hawaii County Danger website said Tuesday.
“At this time, it does not pose a threat to any community.”
Over the past 24 hours, the lava flow traveled at an average speed of about 25 feet per hour (8 meters per hour), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) update on Monday.
According to the USGS, the lava flow has slowed over the past few days, but it remains active due to continuous supply from one active rift known as Fissure 3.
As residents and tourists flocked to witness the unusual eruption, officials enlisted the help of the National Guard.
Hawaii’s Department of Defense said Governor David Ige and Maj.
Updated Mauna Loa & Kilauea eruption map shows advancing Mauna Loa flow front, inactive fissures and flows, active lava lakes within Kilauea, 5/22/12. The current progressed and during the night Daniel K. Inouye reached within 3 km of his highway.
NPS map pic.twitter.com/CsDO98jRbo
— Hawaii Volcanoes NPS (@Volcanoes_NPS) December 6, 2022
Authorities have also set up a safe viewing spot on a one-way route accessible from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.
“If the eruption continues, it may cover the highway. Scholar Natalia Deligne said.
“We don’t know how long this eruption will last. It will determine whether the highway will be further endangered,” Deligne said.
Mauna Loa volcano has erupted for the first time since 1984.
A week after the eruption, the lava flow moved northeast away from the volcano’s summit.
The eruption has attracted waves of tourists.
https://weeklyvoice.com/hawaii-activates-national-guard-as-lava-flow-nears-critical-highway/ Hawaii activates National Guard when lava flow approaches critical highway