The officials of Hawaii have issued a warning to the citizens of the Big Island as the Mauna Loa volcano is giving signals of eruption. Mauna Loa is the world’s largest volcano which is present on the Big Island. Researchers have suggested that there is a high likelihood of an eruption happening at the Mauna Loa. The major reason behind this is that the frequency of earthquakes has increased near the summit of the volcano. As earthquakes are one of the common reasons behind volcanic eruptions, the officials have suggested the residents stay aware and ready for the event.
Mauna Loa is considered the largest active subaerial volcano present in the world. The volcano is elevated at a height level of 4,169 meters and covers an area of 5,271 square kilometers. It is considered that the volcano has been erupting for the past 700,000 years. During that time, the volcano was submerged under the water and came above the water around 400,000 years before. But, the first documented eruption of the volcano dates back to 1843. Since then, the volcano has erupted a total of 33 times. The last documented eruption of Mauna Loa dates back to 15 April 1984. During that time, the erupted lava flowed for over seven kilometers away from the volcano, falling extremely short of Hilo. Hilo is the most populated town on the Big Island and if the lava would have managed to reach the city, it would have caused massive casualties in the area.
As the researchers have now proposed a possibility of its eruption, the authorities are making sure that no casualties will happen just in case the volcano erupts. The Civil Defense Agency of Hawaii is holding meetings across the islands to raise awareness and educate the people about how to prepare for an emergency such as a volcanic eruption. As per the recommendations received from the Civil Defense Agency, the citizens have been suggested to prepare a go-bag, which will contain all the necessary items for survival such as food, clothing, medicines, etc. Along with this, the citizens have also suggested having a place to stay during an emergency and a way to get the family members under one roof.
Talmadge Magno, who is the administrator of Hawaii County Civil Defense, stated that the issued warning has the intention of making people aware of the situation and not creating panic. He further continued that the people should be aware of the fact that the cities are situated on the slopes of Mauna Loa and hence have a higher chance of lava disasters. Hawaii is a region covered with volcanoes. Almost half of the region is acquired by dormant and active volcanoes. Due to the exceptionally growing tourism business on the island, the population of the Big Island has grown exponentially during the past few decades. During this time, the neighboring islands have also witnessed a population growth. Hence, raising awareness about the volcanic eruption and what to do in such situations. Talmadge Magno stated that the officials are constantly working on these efforts to ensure that little to no casualties occur during such events.