Hawaii News Digest, 17 September 2017, 1530 UTC.
Accessed on 17 September 2017, 1530 UTC.
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Over the past two years, scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have been keeping a close watch on the rates of “inflation and seismicity” at the Mauna Loa Volcano. The patterns have waxed and waned “but have remained above what we consider long-term levels.”
Whether these patterns reflect past trends which ended in eruptions is unknown. Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are asking residents to be aware of potential problems that could be caused by a future eruption of Mauna Loa:
“We cannot discount the possibility that Mauna Loa will move from current conditions to eruption more quickly than it did in 1975 and 1984, potentially with only days to weeks of sharply increased activity.”
“It also remains possible that the current unrest will gradually cease without the volcano erupting, as it did during periods of unrest in 2002 and 2004. And so, we must continue to live with uncertainty about the timing and details of Mauna Loa’s next eruption.”
“In the meantime, HVO is closely monitoring the volcano and working with partner agencies and communities to prepare for a future eruption response. We also are identifying the key scientific questions we would seek to answer in the next eruption.”
“Since 1984, HVO has upgraded and added monitoring instrumentation, developing alarm systems to rapidly notify us of changes that might indicate a Mauna Loa eruption is imminent or in progress. We’ve also created map tools and other products to assist authorities and the public during the volcano’s next eruption.”
“Getting back to the question of should residents relax or stay vigilant, the answer is be prepared. Develop a family emergency plan and review emergency supplies. Know where you live and work with respect to Mauna Loa hazard zones.”
“More information about readying our island community for whatever Mauna Loa has in store for us can be found at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/preparedness.html.”
Keeping informed is the best way to stay prepared for any future volcanic activity on Hawaii Island. The website provided by HVO is a good guide to what can be expected if and when Mauna Loa erupts.
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Hawaii News Digest