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The Park is Open, With Minor Restrictions When Mauna Loa Erupts

After a fresh eruption on the Mauna Loa volcano that started in the summit caldera late on Sunday night and moved to the northeast rift zone on Monday morning, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is still open. The park banned cars from using Mauna Loa Road beginning on Monday morning for everyone’s safety.

Since early October, when the volcano started to exhibit signs of disturbance and increased seismicity, the summit, cabins, and high-elevation regions of Mauna Loa have been blocked. Additionally, the public cannot access Mauna Loa Observatory Road outside the park.

An increase in visitors to the park is anticipated as a result of the recent eruption, which is the first time Mauna Loa has erupted since 1984. These visitors are hoping to witness a rare twin eruption from both Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

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A large light from the Mauna Loa caldera, Mokuweoweo (13,677 feet), and a smaller lava lake within Halemaumau (4,009 feet) at the peak of Kilauea could be seen from viewing locations along the Kilauea caldera before daybreak.

At this moment, neither eruption poses a threat to buildings or other structures. Since September 29, 2021, Kilauea has been erupting, with lava being contained to the summit lava lake. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh stated that the park is closely monitoring Mauna Loa alongside its colleagues at the USGS and Hawaii County Civil Defense. The park is open right now, but Loh advised people to be ready and aware.

There are connections to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams and eruption updates on the park website, which visitors are advised to check for updates on closures, safety alerts, air quality, and other information.

A Temporary Flight Restriction has been implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration, covering an area five nautical miles in diameter and 5,000 feet above sea level surrounding the peak of Mauna Loa. Excepted are authorized emergency response flights.

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