Coast Guard crews conduct fly-over Hawaii’s Mauna Loa

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle.

HONOLULU — The world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii’s Big Island, is erupting for the first time since 1984.

The eruption began in Moku’āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, on Sunday at approximately 11:30 p.m. HST, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory; though lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, there is no indication of a threat to nearby communities at this time.

“U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a call from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency with a request for support from an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 to conduct an aerial observation flight of the eruption with partners from the U.S. Geological Survey and official’s from the State and County,” said Lt. Eric Juback, D14 command duty officer. “The Coast Guard values these inter-agency relationships and stands ready to support emergency operations across the Hawaiian Islands if capable.”

Upon receiving the request, a C-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point conducted a fly-over with Mayor Mitch Roth, Hawaii Civil Defense Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and other state and county officials to assess the situation. Video footage was taken from the C-130 at that time showing the progression of the lava flow.

Portions of the Big Island are under an ashfall advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu. As a precaution, shelters have been opened at Kekuaokalani Gym, Kailua Park in Kona and Robert Herkes Gym in Pahala.

For up-to-date information, visit Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.

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