Two of Hawaii’s Big Island’s active volcanoes —— are “no longer erupting,” scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) announced Tuesday.
The HVO said it is continuing to “closely monitor” both volcanoes for “signs of renewed activity.”
Mauna Loa started erupting on Nov. 27, its first eruption since 1984. It also marks the first time since 1984 that Mauna Loa and Kilauea had dual eruptions. Officials said Mauna Loa’s latest eruption did not pose a significant threat to residences or people — though its lava gotto a major highway.
While it is no longer spewing lava towards the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, Mauna Loa has a vent that continues to be a hazard, the HVO said.
“A vent on the west side of the fissure 3 cone remains incandescent and occasionally produces small explosions as trapped gasses are released,” HVO said. “The lava flows around the vent remain hot and unstable. The vent area is also cut by numerous ground cracks.”
Kilauea’s latest eruption began in September 2021 and put on a show with 100-foot lava, but did not cause damage to property. This was in contrast to an eruption in 2018 which destroyed hundreds of homes and caused widespread to infrastructure at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The HVO says lingering volcanic gasses continue to be a hazard at Kilauea, in addition to ground instability.
“Levels of volcanic gas (sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide) can remain locally hazardous even though Kīlauea is no longer erupting,” the HVO statement sread. “Significant hazards also remain around Halemaʻumaʻu from crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public.”
The HVO reports that “eruptive activity” is not expected to return to Mauna Loa. However, for Kilauea, the “potential remains for resumption” of the current eruption, “or initiation of a new eruption.”