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Scientists Say Mauna Loa May Soon Erupt

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posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 01:55 PM
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The Mauna Loa volcano which has been sleeping for 20 years is showing signs of a major eruption. The last time the volcano erupted it send a lava flow almost 16 miles towards the town of Hilo. The concern is that since the last eruption over 2 billion dollars of construction has occured in the path of the last lava flow. If you ever get the chance to visit the Island, it is very impressive to see the lava and be near such a powerfull force of nature. Its a long windy road to the HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY, and it is equiped with a unique lava shild to allow the scientist a chance to escape in the even of an eruption.



KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Earthquakes (news - web sites) have been rumbling more frequently deep beneath Mauna Loa, suggesting that the world's largest volcano is getting ready to erupt for the first time in 20 years, scientists said.

"We don't believe an eruption is right around the corner, but every day that goes by is one day closer to that event," said Paul Okubo, a seismologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the Big Island.

Mauna Loa erupted for three weeks in 1984, sending a 16-mile lava flow toward Hilo. Since then, the U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites) estimates that more than $2.3 billion has been invested in new construction along Mauna Loa's slopes.

Since July, more than 350 earthquakes have been recorded far beneath the 13,677-foot-high Mauna Loa, said Don Swanson, scientist-in-charge at the observatory.

Volcano




posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 02:08 PM
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The island of Hawaii is still largely empty around the volcanos themselves - empty by what those of us who live neat cities consider empty. The volcanos on Hawaii are continuously spitting lava and you can often see flow when visiting the island.

What's interesting is the sudden push for Hawaiian interest. Several new TV shows are out about Hawaii, there are all sorts of new ads for Hawaii tourism, Tourist magazines have also been pushing Hawaii as the premiere spot to vacation in the last year or so. Even IHOP has a new Hawaiian themed pancake menu.

Now, volcanos are ready to explode! There are warning signs! Thats the same thing that we were told 3 years ago when I was there - the same facts about frequent rumbling. Need publicity and tourism? Throw a story out about volcanos or fireballs or some other natural disaster. People love it.

Before everyone jumps on me about "Florida isn't loving the hurricaines!" I'll say "you're right." But there's a difference. Volcanos are not as immediately life threatening unless you are directly on them. You can walk away from lava flows. People walk up to them and stare in awe as their shoes melt. You can be far enough away from a volcano - say another island - to be able to observe it, or take a trip to see it once you know where the flow will be. It's exciting and beautiful.



posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by RedBalloon
Before everyone jumps on me about "Florida isn't loving the hurricaines!" I'll say "you're right." But there's a difference. Volcanos are not as immediately life threatening unless you are directly on them. You can walk away from lava flows. People walk up to them and stare in awe as their shoes melt. You can be far enough away from a volcano - say another island - to be able to observe it, or take a trip to see it once you know where the flow will be. It's exciting and beautiful.


I just had this conversation with a relative in Florida. I was wondering why we have to pay higher insurance rates across the nation to keep rebuilding thier homes. He was quick to retort that I live near the San Andreas Fault. However, you pretty much know that a hurricane or two (make that 3
) will hit FL each year. Who knows when the big one will hit?

That being said. If you ever get to see the flows you will be left speechless. My wife and I made the long hike and spent the night in silence watching the lava as it flowed by till the sun came up. Simply awesum.



posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 02:35 PM
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It is definitely amazing. I took a Heli flight over the flows and even in the air you could feel the heat rising up to sting your face.

Here's a pic to show the way lava eats the land for those who haven't seen it. Just covers everything with black rock. Nothing stops it, and thankfully there are few houses around for it to consume. I had a pic of the lava flows through a neighborhood too if I can find it I'll post it to go along with your story.






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