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See lava flow from Mauna Loa Volcano and track air quality in Hawaii


Spitting lava from the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii continues to flow.

The leading edge remains at approximately 7,000 feet, descending the mountain at less than a mile per hour.

But the magma has slowed significantly and so far poses little threat to local residents, according to emergency management officials in Hawaii. Although the lava has already passed through Observatory Road, it could take a week to reach the narrow Daniel K. Inouye Road about three miles away, depending on how the lava reacts to the flatter terrain below.

The volcano erupted on Sunday, sending lava northeast. Most of the island’s development is scattered around the coast, so the lava is currently not a threat to people or infrastructure.

The US Geological Survey, which is monitoring the eruption, said in its latest update that the agency is still detecting tremor signals in the volcano’s active fissures. “This indicates that magma is still supplied and activity is likely to continue as long as we see this signal.”

The eruption occurred on the Big Island, officially known as Hawaii, the largest in the archipelago. It consists of five volcanoes, four of which are active.

The locals are used to eruptions. The latest is one of more than 130 eruptions in which lava has flowed from fissures in the mountain since the 1830s, according to data released by the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency. .

The volcano last erupted in 1984. According to data, the site has been relatively constant, erupting 71 times during the 1800s and 68 times during the 1900s.

Historic lava flows have varied in size and direction, depending on the event, over the years:

While the latest eruption did not threaten the island’s infrastructure, it raised air quality concerns for both local residents and those living downwind across the Pacific Ocean. .

So far, air quality on the island has remained good, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Although the department said residents and visitors can expect “vog conditions, ash in the air, and sulfur dioxide levels to increase and fluctuate in various parts of the state.”

Monitor the air quality on the Hawaii map below, which will be updated every three hours.

As local experts monitor the island’s air quality, scientists are monitoring the wider atmosphere after the eruption expelled a large plume of sulfur dioxide visible from satellites orbiting Earth.

Note: Progression of the volcanic plume: 30 Nov-Dec. 5. Darker colors represent a higher Dobson unit, a measure of sulfur dioxide densities; Credit: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

The plume is expected to cross North America over the weekend and flow into the Atlantic Ocean. That can result in hazy skies, said Mark Parrington, senior scientist with the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, but it’s unlikely to reach ground level in the continental United States.

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