(BIVN) – The Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa was changed from WARNING to WATCH on Saturday, following the substantial reduction in lava output and volcanic gas emissions.
The aviation color code will remain at ORANGE.
From the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Volcanic Activity Summary issued on December 10th at 2:35 p.m. HST:
Lava eruption from fissure 3 (F3) on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa continues but with greatly reduced lava output and volcanic gas emissions. Most lava is confined to the vent in a small pond. The short lava flows active about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the vent yesterday have stalled.
The flow front in the Humuʻula Saddle region has stagnated 1.9 miles (3 km) from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) and is no longer a threat.
High eruption rates will not resume based on past eruptive behavior and current behavior suggests that the eruption may end soon. However, an inflationary trend of Mauna Loa’s summit is accompanying the decreased activity and there is a small possibility that the eruption could continue at very low eruptive rates.
For these reasons, HVO is reducing the volcano alert level from WARNING to WATCH, reflecting the limited hazards associated with the current activity. The aviation color code will remain at ORANGE, reflecting the uncertainty of continuing eruptive activity and the possibility of volcanic ash emissions.
HVO scientists continue to closely monitor Mauna Loa and the active eruption site for any indication of changes to activity.
The Federal Aviation Administration temporary flight restriction remains in place, extending from the surface to 1500 feet (457 meters) above ground level in the eruption area.