Wednesday, May 31, 2023|
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Mauna Loa’s continuing seismic activity is causing concern for some residents on Hawaii Island, but there are no signs an eruption is imminent, according to a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency advisory issued this afternoon.
Hawaii County emergency managers and experts on volcano geology will hold the latest in a series of briefings to update the public on the situation this evening in Pahala.
Both the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency have increased monitoring of the volcano. The U.S. Geologic Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been issuing daily reports on Mauna Loa’s activity since September but has indicated its scientists have seen no indications of an immediate threat, the advisory stated.
“Mauna Loa continues to be in a state of heightened unrest,” said Ken Hon, chief scientist at HVO, in the observatory’s most recent report on the active volcano.
However, Hon noted, “the current increase in activity does not suggest that a progression to an eruption is certain.”
Civil Defense has been posting daily snapshots via social media of Mauna Loa’s activity, based on data from HVO, including the current alert level, status and a recap of activity over the previous 24 hours.
“Under current conditions an eruption from Mauna Loa is not imminent,” Talmadge Magno, Civil Defense administrator, said in the advisory. “We’re reminding people to take this opportunity to register for county emergency alert messages and prepare or review their plans to be ready for any disaster.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s website includes links to sign up for emergency alerts in any Hawaii County: https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/get-ready/.
Magno and Hon met with Hawaii Island residents on Saturday at the Ocean View Community Center to discuss the latest readings and preparedness measures (https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2022/10/23/hawaii-news/mauna-loa-meeting-draws-concerns/). They noted that because Mauna Loa covers 51% of the island’s area, it’s hard to predict which areas might be affected if an eruption occurs. If lava were to break out of the summit area, Magno said, the county would provide specific information about any necessary safety or evacuation measures, including details about routes and shelters.
Another informational session with the local officials is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium, at 96-1219 Kamani St. in Pahala.
“(The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) continues to support our partners on Hawaii Island with outreach and planning assistance as Mauna Loa’s activity evolves,” said agency Administrator Luke Meyers. “We encourage residents who are concerned about the seismic activity beneath the mountain to explore the ways they can improve their preparedness, including updating their emergency plans, reviewing their evacuation routes near where they live, work, and play and checking the batteries in their emergency supplies.”
For resources and more information about earthquake and volcanic preparedness see these pages:
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