HomeOutdoorsNewsOfficials Create Safe New Route for Visitors To View Erupting Mauna Loa

Officials Create Safe New Route for Visitors To View Erupting Mauna Loa

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Andrew Richard Hara/Getty Images)

It’s a spectacular view in Hawaii right now as the lava erupting from Mauna Loa continues to bring on-lookers to Big Island. Each one hoping to catch a glimpse of the awesome event.

The world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa began oozing molten rocks and lava earlier this week. This eruption is the volcano’s first time showing this type of activity since 1984. Mauna Loa has been giving on-lookers a spectacular show, erupting for days now. At one point, the lava was shooting up as high as 148 feet.

Onlookers Are Flocking To Mauna Loa As It Continues To Erupt, Hoping To Catch A Glimpse Of The Striking Show

Since Mauna Loa began erupting earlier this week, visitors have been pulling their cars over on the highways through the night. Hoping to catch a glimpse of the striking scene. The onlookers are snapping pics and looking on with wonder as the blazing river of lava moves down the volcano. Bringing a streak of light to the dark horizon.

Now, local authorities have developed a special route that will allow visitors to witness Mauna Loa’s spectacular show. This time, however, from a slightly safer location. The traffic hazard safety route is now available along Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye Highway, officials note.

A statement from the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency notes that this one-way route will “provide safe viewing of lava flows” as onlookers continue to flock to the area. Additionally, the officials are stressing that parking along the highway could lead to traffic citations or even the towing of vehicles.

Officials add that the lava flow is unpredictable as far as the direction it will ultimately flow as well as the impact the eruptions will have on the area throughout the event. But, the experts are quick to say that the lava is moving slowly enough that there will be plenty of time to warn anyone about potential dangers.

“Advance rates may be highly variable over the coming days and weeks due to the way lava is emplaced on flat ground,” notes a Thursday geological survey update.

Residents Can Expect “Vog” Conditions

As Mauna Loa continues erupting, officials warn that residents and visitors are facing what is known as “vog” conditions. This also includes “ash in the air, and levels of sulfur dioxide to increase and fluctuate in various areas of the state,” the Hawaii health department says. Additionally, the plumes of dark clouds that are seen billowing from the volcano are not smoke. Instead, these clouds are “volcanic gases, which are acid gases,” explains Jess Phoenix.

“You don’t want to breathe them in,” he adds. According to Phoenix, these gases are full of “hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide.” All of which are “really not fun for average folks to breathe in,” he explains. “Let alone if you have any sort of respiratory issue.”