Lately, beneath Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano the amount of earthquakes tripled, determining Hawaiian authorities who work with the US Geological Survey to raise the alert level for the volcano to “advisory.” This year’s indicators show that a Mauno Loa eruption is not likely to happen, but researchers found some signs of disturbance underneath the background levels of the volcano that surpassed any previous events of this kind.
The US Geographical Survey reported to the West Hawaii Today that ever since September 17 the volcano had been displaying lots of background earthquake activity, showing no signs of unrest yet.
A geologist in charge with the data interpretation, Frank Trusdell, said that these signs the volcano is sending do not make an eruption imminent or certain, rather it is just a reminder to the Hawaiian residents that their volcano is still more active than ever.
Mauna Loa is currently the world’s largest volcano, and the volcano that comprise most of Hawaii.
Mauna Loa last erupted back in 1984, and ever since, increases in its seismic activity have been observed, determining officials to raise the alert level for the volcano. When the volcano erupted in 1984, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory registered nearly 100 earthquakes daily for an entire week. Generally, there are about ten earthquakes per week in Hawaii, but as of the last couple of weeks, about 40 earthquakes shook up the island according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Trusdell declared “We expect the seismicity to grow steadily and be more consistent and persistent, and even the rates to change before we forecast an eruption,” clearing the air by adding that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is closely monitoring the volcano and they will notify the public in time in case of emergency.
Geophysicist said that Mauna Loa is hiding two reservoirs of magma underneath its 13,677 feet basis. Asta Miklius of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory adds that right now the magma fills these system, causing these small earthquakes. She said that there is nothing to worry about yet because all what the volcano does right now is showing that it still active. The possibility that Mauna Loa will erupt sometimes soon is not excluded, but with today’s technology scientists would be able to predict that with a week before it happens.
In addition, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory declared that the increasing seismic activity of the volcano could go on for months, even years, without causing an eruption. However, the inhabitants need to make sure they can pack their bags fast in case of potential dangers.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the unrest could just be an alert for the next volcano eruption. But at this stage they cannot yet determine exactly if is just a warning or the volcano is, in fact, going to erupt.