(HONOLULU, HAWAII) — Residents of Hawaii’s big island are on high alert after consistent seismic activity was detected under the Mauna Loa volcano, the world’s largest active volcano.
The volcano, which last erupted in 1984, takes up 51% of the island. Authorities encourage residents to prepare for possible ‘disaster,’ and recommend having emergency supplies in case of eruption.
“Not to panic everybody, but they have to be aware of that you live on the slopes of Mauna Loa,” said Talmadge Magno, administrator for Hawaii County Civil Defense. “There’s a potential for some kind of lava disaster.”
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Thursday that Mauna Loa ‘continues to be in a state of heightened unrest,’ but there are ‘no signs’ the volcano will erupt soon.
The amount of seismic earthquakes has risen from 10 to 20 per day to 50 to 50 per day, which scientists believe is due to magma seeping into the summit reservoir system of Mauna Loa, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The frequency of tremors has decreased, but authorities predict they could increase within the coming days.