HILO, Hawaii Island (AP) — Scientists in Hawaii are monitoring increasing activity surrounding one of the Big Island’s volcanoes.
The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is closely monitoring Mauna Loa because conditions have risen to levels comparable to a more active period from 2014 to 2017, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald first eported Sunday.
It is too early to predict possible outcomes of Mauna Loa’s activity, according to Tina Neal, the observatory’s scientist-in-charge.
“An eruption could be anywhere from months to years away,” Neal said. “But we do know that it’s not days or weeks away.”
There have been increased earthquakes and ground deformation around Mauna Loa’s summit, she said.
Earthquakes on Mauna Loa dropped to less than five per week in early 2018, but there have been up to 90 earthquakes weekly since August, with most considered mild at 2.0 or less on the Richter scale, Neal said.
Gas monitoring equipment at Mauna Loa’s summit has not detected any emerging fumes, she said.
“The most important thing is that there is no cause for alarm,” Neal said.
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