People in Hawaii are in danger of a volcano eruption. Mauna Loa, which is considered as one of the largest on Earth, could erupt soon.
In recent years, the USGS (US Geological Survey) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has detected more frequent seismic activity in the region.
The volcano has not erupted since 1984 and is long overdue an eruption having blown 10 times in the 20th century prior to this.
The US’s National Park Service writes: “When Mauna Loa erupts, voluminous, fast-moving lava flows can reach the ocean in only a few hours, severing roads and utilities and repaving the volcano’s flanks along the way.
“Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times, most recently in 1984, when lava flows reached to within 4 miles (6.4 km) of Hilo.”
In September last year, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory upgraded the alert level from “Normal” to “Advisory” due to the mini earthquakes that it has been experiencing.
Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote in an article for Hawaii 24/7: “As is often the case during volcanic unrest around the world, the current activity at Mauna Loa has not followed a steady, predictable trend.
“Overall, earthquake rates remain above normal background levels.
“But, a closer look at the seismic record reveals that earthquakes have occurred at higher rates for weeks to months, separated by quieter periods of a week or so.”
What makes the volcano more terrifying is that experts are unable to give a timeframe on when Mauna Loa might erupt.
The scientists continue: “Unrest at Mauna Loa is not following a simple script. This is why, at this point in time, it is not possible to forecast with certainty if or when the volcano will erupt as a result of this unrest.”