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The summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed until further notice due to “increasing unrest” at the volcano, according to an advisory issued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday.

The volcano has a “yellow” level of danger, the second of four levels.

Its closure is a “precautionary measure,” according to the National Park Service, and will mostly affect those tourists planning to visit the area. summit.

However, the Mauna Loa Road and the Mauna Loa Observation Deck at 6,662 feet remain open. Guests can also visit the main part of the park.

Scientists at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the volcano “is not erupting and there are currently no signs of an eruption.”

According to the recommendation, scientists have observed recent “increased” rates of earthquakes. In the last 24 hours, about 44 low-magnitude earthquakes occurred around the summit.

“Recent earthquakes are associated with inflation of the magma beneath the summit, but they do not mean that an eruption is imminent, and that the progression to eruption is certain,” said Kate Mulliken, a geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “We expect additional shallow seismicity and other signs of disturbance to precede any future eruption, should it occur.”

“Mauna Loa has shown signs of unrest before,” she added. In early 2021, the last time the volcano “showed a similar elevation an earthquake activism and expansion,” Mulliken said.

So far, webcam views over the past week show no change in the volcanic landscape of Mauna Loa.

The volcano is not only the largest volcano on the planet, but also one of the most active, having erupted 33 times since its first well-documented eruption in 1843. The volcano last erupted in 1984, so “it’s currently in the longest quiescent period (without eruptions) in at least the last two centuries,” Mulliken said.

Mauna Loa means “Long Mountain” in the Hawaiian language, which corresponds to the fact that the volcano occupies more than half of the island of Hawaii.

Although the volcano shows no sign an eruptionscientists say it will “definitely flare up again someday.”

The USGS will monitor volcano daily. People can check the NPS website for up-to-date closure notices at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

An earthquake at an underwater volcano in Hawaii has shaken the Big Island

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