HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mauna Loa continues to erupt and lava has moved from the summit to the Northeast Rift Zone where, according to the USGS website, it is flowing from one fissure, as of 1:30 p.m.
Officials said the flow is not threatening any communities.
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According to Ken Hon, Hawaii Volcano Observatory Scientist in Charge, the floor of Mokuʻāweoweo is almost completely covered with lava but activity has ceased, as of Monday afternoon.
Because the flow has favored the northeast rift zone, officials expect the eruption activity to continue in that area and not the southwest rift zone.
According to USGS’s afternoon update, the lava is now flowing from the lowest of the original three fissures. Activity has ceased at the the higher fissures but those two did send lava downslope to about 11 miles from Saddle Road. Officials do not expect the higher fissures to reactivate.
Lava from fissure 3 remains above 10,000 feet elevation and over 10 miles from Saddle Road. The flow is moving east along the northeast rift zone.
Officials said that additional fissures could open along the northeast rift zone below the current location.
There is low fountaining, around 100 to 200 feet.
It is possible, historically, that the flow could head towards Hilo. However, Hon said that it will be at least a week until they have a better idea of whether that will happen.
There are no school closures at this time and DOH sent an update Monday afternoon stating that they will continue to monitor conditions and adjust if needed.
Saddle Road remains open and there are currently no evacuation orders.
Both the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Hawaii County Civil Defense are activated in case quick response is requested.
Mauna Loa started erupting Sunday night and though no downslope communities are affected at this time, volcanic gas, ash and Pele’s hair may affect some residents.