() — The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency issued a volcano watch warning on Friday after 36 small earthquakes were detected between Thursday and Friday near Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, which “continues at a state of great agitation, according to an update from the United States Geological Survey.
The agency warns, however, that Mauna Loa is not erupting and that “there are no signs of an imminent eruption at this time,” adding that new magma input from three to eight kilometers is likely causing the earthquakes. below the surface of the volcano.
The volcano’s state of turmoil, with an increasing earthquake rate, began in mid-September 2022, the science agency said. High seismic activity prompted Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to close Mauna Loa’s summit to all hikers until further notice, the park announced in early October. Only the main section of the park remains open, said the US National Park Service.
Seismic activity has increased from five to 10 earthquakes a day since June 2022 to about 10 to 20 earthquakes a day between July and August, according to the Geological Survey. Peak numbers of more than 100 quakes per day were recorded on September 23 and 29, previously reported.
According to the agency, Mauna Loa, which covers half of the island of Hawaii, has erupted 33 times, the last time in 1984.
‘s Joe Sutton and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.