Big Island Eruption Time

With Mauna Loa on the Big Island erupting again for the first time since 1984, she has been long overdue. Volcanoes are interesting. Officially, there are 161 volcanoes that are considered “potentially active” in the U.S. 48 are in continuing eruption status. That means eruptions could be daily or weekly, but “continuing eruption status” means the volcano erupts at least every 3 months. So, as the world’s largest and most active volcano, she has been on “vacation” for a very long time.

Looking across Kilauea volcanic crater at Mauna Loa

Big Island residents have been alerted to be ready for evacuation. If Mauna Loa decides to blast out sideways, lava flows can be dramatic, fast-moving, and difficult to predict.

While there, we knew steam vents were very active. I had started “checking” active volcano status while we were on the island, as the status was Yellow, for “Advisory,” and had changed to Orange for “Watch.” These are much like the Hurricane warning levels. Naturally, the status for Mauna Loa is now Red for “Warning.”

Anyone can check all volcanoes in the U.S. online at

We felt none of the earthquakes that had been going on for the last few weeks, and that is just fine with me. From Kona, the lava flows are very visible after dark. We just hope everyone on Hawai’i’s Big Island stays safe.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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