Mauna Loa ‘s lava flow continues to head toward major Hawaiian highway.
Last week I reported on two volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, that were simultaneously erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii.
As I projected in that report, lava is continuing to flow toward the main highway on the island. However, there are no current plans to control the flow.
As of Saturday afternoon, the lava was just 2.5 miles from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, according to an alert from the US Geological Survey. It had been moving about 40 feet per hour over the last 24 hours, the agency said.
Predicting if, or when, the lava might hit the highway, which connects the west and east of the island, is difficult.
“There are many variables at play and both the direction and timing of flow advances are expected to change over periods of hours to days, making it difficult to estimate when or if the flow will impact Daniel K. Inouye Highway,” wrote the agency in its update.
This is part of the problem with attempts to redirect the lava flow: lava is unpredictable, and it’s hard to tell where it might go next.
Lava’s “tendency to flow is extremely temperature-sensitive,” Paul Segall, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University who researches earthquakes and volcanoes, told CNN. This makes it “somewhat unpredictable.”
It’s hard to say at this point whether the lava will even reach the highway, Segall explained.
One volcanic eruption that is causing much more disruption is in Java, where thousands of people have been evacuated.
Several villages surrounding Mount Semeru, Indonesia’s tallest volcano, have been blanketed in ash and soot following its latest eruption.
Evacuations were announced Sunday as the 12,060-foot volcano, located in East Java in Indonesia, about 300 miles southeast of the capital Jakarta, began to spew lava and ash into the densely populated island on Sunday just before 3 a.m. local time, according to local authorities.
Thick ash was blasted more than 4,000 feet into the air while lava flowed down the slopes toward the Besuk Kobokan river, about 8 miles from the crater, the country’s National Disaster Management Agency announced.
At one point, the volcanic activity level had been raised to Level 4, the highest status, according to Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation.
Semeru is a stratovolcano, comprised of alternating layers of lava and ash (the lava containing more gas and silica compounds that Hawaii’s volcanoes). It has been in a state of near-constant eruption from 1967 to the present.
Finally, kids in Italy got a volcano day off from school, after Mt. Stromboli’s most recent eruption.
The eruption on Sunday caused an explosion and set off alarm sirens on the island.
The violent explosion, filmed by a camera from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), sent clouds of ash into the air and into the sea.
The INGV said they also registered a 4.6 magnitute earthquake early morning on Sunday in the sea the Aeolian island archipelago, of which Stromboli is included.
The Coast Guard is monitoring the flow of lava and ash into the sea to ensure ports on the island remain safe and open.
And while it is common for multiple volcanoes to be erupting around the world, this recent batch is impacting humanity a bit more than usual.
It’s perfectly normal for dozens of volcanoes to be simultaneously erupting across the globe at any given moment. But over the weekend, there were several of particularly dramatic eruptions on multiple continents https://t.co/7XD4gWN92U
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) December 6, 2022
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