World’s Largest Active Volcano Erupts

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, started erupting Sunday. By Monday, the volcano’s caldera began to overflow. Mauna Loa, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, hasn’t erupted in nearly 40 years.

For several weeks before the eruption, Mauna Loa had experienced an average of 50 earthquakes a day. Currently, the volcano is spewing lava 200 feet into the air.

The human risk: There are no reported casualties, and the lava flow currently isn’t threatening anybody. However, Hawaii’s government has warned Big Island residents to be prepared for heavy levels of ash in the air. The United States Geological Survey has warned islanders to be ready for anything. “[An eruption] can be very dynamic, and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly,” the warning read. The Big Island has roughly 200,000 residents.

Learn more: With every record-breaking drought, hurricane or firestorm, many blame climate change. It’s hard to make that case with events like volcanic eruptions. But it’s not a coincidence that such disasters seem to keep getting worse and worse. Our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Increased ‘Natural’ and Weather Disasters” explains why.