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Hawaii’s volcanic lava oozes toward the Big Island’s major highway

Kailua Kona, Hawaii – A river of glistening lava oozing from the world’s largest volcano could swallow the highway that connects the east and west coasts of the Big Island of Hawaii as early as this weekend. there is nothing humans can do to stop itsaid the expert.

Mauna Loa awoke on Sunday from a 38-year sleep, Volcanic ash and debris to the sky. Lava has captivated thousands of viewers Highway 200 passes near Volcanoes National Parkand they endure the thick smell of volcanic gas and sulfur to see a wide stream of lava approaching.

“It’s a thrill,” said Katherine Tarananda, 66, of Waimea. She set two alarms so she wouldn’t miss the chance to see the sun rise against the eruption. “We are in the middle of raw nature. It is awe-inspiring that we live here. …I feel really, really lucky to be an islander.”

Lava slowly tumbling down the slope was drawn within miles of a highway running through an old lava flow. Known as Saddle Road, this road bisects the island and connects the cities of Hilo and Kailua-Kona. In the event of impassability, the alternative is to use the longer coastal road, adding several hours of driving time.

Ken Hong, a scientist at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, said Wednesday that at current speeds, lava could reach the road in as little as two days, but it could take longer. As the current spreads, it can impede its own progression,” said Hon.

Lava crossed the access road to the Mauna Loa Observatory on Monday night, cutting off its power, Hon said. The federal government is looking for a temporary alternative site on the Big Island of Hawaii and is considering flying a generator to the observatory to restore power and enable measurements to be taken again.

Meanwhile, scientists are trying to measure the gases released from the eruption.

Ann Andersen quit her night shift nurse to see the spectacle on Wednesday.

“Mother Nature is giving us a face,” she said, as a volcano spewed gas on the horizon. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Gordon Brown, a visitor from Loomis, Calif., could see the bright orange lava from the bedroom of his rental home, so he and his wife ventured out nearby. “It’s so bright, it’s just overwhelming,” Brown said.

Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. current eruption It is the 34th since written records began in 1843. Its tiny neighbor, Kilauea, has been erupting since September 2021, so visitors to the national park get the rare sight of two simultaneous eruption events: Kilauea’s lava lake and glow from lava. I was able to. From the chasm of Mauna Loa.

Authorities were initially concerned that lava flowing down Mauna Loa was heading toward communities in South Kona, but scientists later said the eruption had moved to a rift zone on the volcano’s northeastern slopes, threatening communities. I have generally assured you that no.

Governor David Ige has issued a state of emergency, allowing responders to arrive quickly or limit access if necessary. He has dealt with multiple volcanic eruptions in his eight years as governor and said turning the glowing rock was impossible.

“There is no physical or technological way to change the flow of lava,” Ige said at a press conference, adding that in 2018, when Kilauea poured lava into homes, farms and roads, many knew it was possible. I remembered what people wanted.

“The power of Mother Nature and Mrs. Pele overwhelms everything we can do,” Ige said, referring to Hawaii’s volcano and fire gods.

If the lava crosses the highway, the Hawaii National Guard can help plan alternatives and attempt to set a detour route, the governor said.


Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Celsky reported from Salem, Oregon. Contributing to this report were AP journalists Audrey McAvoy of Honolulu and Greg Bull and Haven Daly of Hilo.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/national/2022/12/01/hawaii-volcanos-lava-oozes-toward-key-big-island-highway/ Hawaii’s volcanic lava oozes toward the Big Island’s major highway

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