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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.
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.