Dozens of earthquakes detected as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, world’s largest active volcano, remains in ‘state of heightened unrest’
Aerial photo by Richard Ellis
Lava spewing out from Mauna Loa’s active volcano in Hawaii continued to rise.
The US Geological Survey said it recorded more than 40 earthquakes in the 24 hours between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday, including two that reached magnitude 7.1.
The activity is consistent with the volcano’s ongoing eruption, the USGS said in its latest summary of its status report.
The latest activity came amid growing public criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the situation, and is sure to fuel a new round of discussion about whether he should remain in office.
The USGS said it monitored the volcano for an additional 24 hours on Sunday.
Hawaii’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park released a statement saying: “We are monitoring Mauna Loa and remain vigilant for signs that the volcano is again moving toward an eruption. In an eruption of this magnitude, the explosive output from the volcano can impact our community and visitors in a very negative way.”
It added: “Our greatest concern in the face of any eruption is for the safety of our guests and staff. We must continue to take every precaution we can to ensure the safety and success of our park visitors. We ask that guests use caution when venturing into the park or near the park boundary.”
Earlier this week, USGS said it had identified two large earthquakes, the second of which was 6.0, that struck just after the eruption started on Thursday.
But after initial reports suggested all the activity was related to one particular event, it downgraded fears of a repeat on Saturday, saying the majority of the earthquakes were “of volcanic origin”.
‘No reason for this to continue’
USGS said more than 30 earthquakes hit the island of Hawaii between midnight and midday on Saturday, including the two seen at the start of the volcano’s eruption.
The first of those earthquakes, at 7.0 on the Richter scale, was “consistent with volcanic activity