Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet, just erupted for the first time since 1984. Lava is currently flowing from parts of the summit crater and vents along the north eastern flank. There are massive fountains erupting reaching up to 200 feet into the sky.
This volcanic activity is luckily far away from homes and neighborhoods on the big island. That being said, many Hawaii residents are still very concerned for personal well being as well as the air quality standards. Mauna Loa currently sending out sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gasses. This combination creates volcanic smog also known as “VOG” when they mix with oxygen and dust in the sun.
Because of this, Hawaii health officials are encouraging residents and visitors alike to scale back on their outdoor exercise to avoid inhaling the VOG. Exposure to VOG can result in burning eyes, terrible headaches and sore throats. People with severe asthma or other respiratory illnesses like covid should exercise extreme caution in regards to exposing themselves to VOG.
There is also an advisory warning in effect for Maui because of the recent eruption of Mauna Loa on the big island. Today, the air quality was rated good on Maui. But if the winds change and start blowing from the South West,, the department of health advises the following guidelines for residents and visitors. It might be time to get your N95 mask back out!
Below is a list of great resources to share with your family and your friends on the big island:
- The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense agency has a web page on volcano hazards with maps of inundation zones and hazard zones. Alerts are posted here
- Vog information
- Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Mauna Loa summit area to all visitors
- What does a warning and warning alert level mean? Find out here
- Photo and Video Chronology of Mauna Loa eruption
- HVO: Preparing for the next eruption of Earth’s largest active volcano
- Lava Flows from Mauna Loa (1843-2018)
- Mauna Loa Eruption Response Times over the past 200 years
- Current alerts from the USGS
- Mauna Loa webcams
- Frequently Asked Questions about Mauna Loa Volcano
- Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu and the closure extends to the summit caldera