In Hawai‘i, World’s Biggest Active Volcano is Erupting

Nov 29, 2022

Last updated: Monday, November 28 at 6:34 PM EST. 

On Hawai‘i Island, the largest active volcano in the world is erupting. It hasn't done so in nearly 40 years. The volcano is called Mauna Loa. It covers half of the Big Island, as Hawai‘i Island is often called. As of Monday at noon, lava had started flowing down one side of the volcano. But the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) had not told people to evacuate

People are not in danger right now. That's because lava is unlikely to reach populated areas, HEMA and the US Geological Service said. Still, two shelters have opened. Some people are evacuating themselves. 

The eruption began late Sunday. That's according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  

“The glow is like nothing I’ve seen here living in Kona for most of my life,” one resident of the island told CNN.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu briefly put out a now-canceled ashfall advisory for the island. In some places, there may be up to a quarter-inch of ash that fell. Officials also warned that the threat could get worse. 

HEMA asked that people who are sick stay inside. Breathing the ash isn't good for people's lungs.

Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet above the Pacific Ocean. It's on the largest of eight major islands that make up Hawai‘i. It’s had increased seismic activity and earthquake rates in recent months. The volcano has erupted 33 times since 1843. It last erupted in 1984. At that time, the lava flowed within 5 miles of Hilo. That's Hawai‘i Island’s biggest city.

Photo from Reuters.

Which of the following questions is not answered in the story? (Common Core RI.5.2; RI.6.2)
a. Have residents been asked to evacuate the island?
b. When was the last time Mauna Loa erupted?
c. How big is Mauna Loa?
d. Were residents asked to evacuate the last time Mauna Loa erupted?
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