Mauna Loa Volcano Eruption is Over – Mauna Loa and Kilauea Updates
The Big Island of Hawaii is home to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Kīlauea volcano had been erupting almost non stop for many years delighting visitors who wanted to see the orange glow of lava from a safe viewing location. On November 27th, Mauna Loa started erupting again after being quiet for almost four decades. Mauna Loa is the largest mountain on the planet by sheer size rising from the ocean floor over 30,000 feet with a height of 13,679 feet above sea level. The current eruption started in the summit caldera then quickly shifted to fissures in the northeast rift zone all above 10,000 feet above sea level.
It was a fleeting moment in time though as the volcano stopped erupting with no new lava flowing. Interesting at around the same time Kilauea that had been active in the crater for the last year and a bit also stopped erupting.
Unlike explosive volcanos, Hawai‘i volcanoes are mostly lava producing volcanoes that do not produce the same degree of emissions, ash and other dangerous effects. This allowed visitors and residents alike to get within a few miles of lava and volcano viewing areas.
We enjoyed going up a number of mornings pre-dawn but the best experience was taking a Helicopter to see the fountains of lava up close. Some of our photos are shown below.
The location of the last eruption was perfectly situated to not be a threat to people or structures while being close enough a major highway to allow people to get amazing views. Over the couple of weeks it was erupting it attracted huge numbers of visitors from around the world who wanted to see a once in a lifetime event.
With only short sensational news stories in the mainstream media, it is understandable that some people may have concerns about visiting Hawaii during this time. While this was happening the skies were clear and sunny and the beaches were uncrowded with warm Pacific waters.
It may be years until the next time something this spectacular happens but the morale of the story is be ready to grab the first plane to Hawaii to catch the show.
Update: January 5, 2023 – Kilauea restarted with lava into the crater similar to last couple of years so there is another opportunity to possibly see lava at the National Park.