Maui News

Community briefing to update public as experts monitor Mauna Loa for any sign of increased threat

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Mauna Loa’s continuing seismic activity is causing concern for some residents on Hawai‘i island, but there are no signs an eruption is imminent, according to the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency.

Hawai‘i County emergency managers and experts on volcano geology will hold the latest in a series of briefings to update the public on the situation this evening in Pāhala. Tonight’s (Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022) informational session with local officials is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. at Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium, at 96-1219 Kamani St. in Pāhala.

The gas monitoring site at an elevation of 3,430 meters (11,240 feet) above sea level on the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa measures volcanic gases (sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and water vapor), fumarole temperature, and meteorological parameters. Monitoring the ratio of different emitted gases may provide information on restless behavior and eruptive status at Mauna Loa. USGS image by T. Elias.

Both the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency have increased monitoring of the volcano. The US Geologic Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been issuing daily reports on Mauna Loa’s activity since September but has indicated its scientists have seen no signs of an immediate threat. 

“Mauna Loa continues to be in a state of heightened unrest… the current increase in activity does not suggest that a progression to an eruption is certain.”

Ken Hon, HVO chief scientist

HCDA has been posting daily snapshots via social media of Mauna Loa’s activity, based on data from HVO, including the current alert level, status, and a recap of activity over the previous 24 hours.

“Under current conditions an eruption from Mauna Loa is not imminent,” said Talmadge Magno, Hawai‘i County civil defense administrator. “We’re reminding people to take this opportunity to register for county emergency alert messages and prepare or review their plans to be ready for any disaster.”

HI-EMA’s website includes links to sign up for emergency alerts.


Magno and Hon met with Hawai‘i island residents on Saturday at the Ocean View community center to discuss the latest readings and preparedness measures. They noted:

“Because Mauna Loa covers 51% of the island’s area, it’s hard to predict which areas might be affected if an eruption occurs.”

Hawaiʻi county civil defense and HVO administrators

If lava were to break out of the summit area, Magno said, the County would provide specific information about any necessary safety or evacuation measures, including details about routes and shelters.


“HI-EMA continues to support our partners on Hawai‘i island with outreach and planning assistance as Mauna Loa’s activity evolves,” said agency Administrator Luke Meyers. “We encourage residents who are concerned about the seismic activity beneath the mountain to explore the ways they can improve their preparedness, including updating their emergency plans, reviewing their evacuation routes near where they live, work, and play, and checking the batteries in their emergency supplies.”

For resources and more information about earthquake and volcanic preparedness see these pages:


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