The National Park Service said Wednesday that the Mauna Loa summit backcountry in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park would be closed due to “elevated seismic activity.“
The closure, which is in effect until further notice, is a precautionary measure.
Mauna Loa Road and the Mauna Loa Lookout at 6,662 feet elevation remain open to the public.
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“Mauna Loa is not erupting. The volcanic alert level remains at advisory, and the aviation color code remains at yellow,” the park service added. “U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists will notify the park if conditions change.”
In a status report, the observatory said the national park summit was experiencing heightened unrest.
“Earthquake activity has been increasing from 5-10 earthquakes per day since June 2022, to 10-20 earthquakes per day in July and August, and reaching approximately 40-50 earthquakes per day over the past two weeks,” it noted. “Peak numbers of over 100 earthquakes per day occurred on September 23rd and 29th.”
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Inflation or expansion of the summit region is accompanying the activity and has also increased over the course of the past two weeks.
The last time Mauna Loa displayed elevated earthquake activity and expansion of the summit was in 2021 from January to March.
Additional periods of increased earthquake activity have occurred during the 38 years since the last eruption of Mauna Loa in 1984.
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The observatory said that updates for Mauna Loa would be changed from weekly to daily and that it would “issue appropriate updates if conditions change.” [HVO, Fox News]
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I avoid places with volcano. Love the islands, but that was way before, now I won’t go anymore. I would go fishing around there though. They have nice tuna and black marlin, mahi mahi, and it is fun.