'Elevated Seismic Activity' Causes Closure Of Mauna Loa Summit In Hawaii

Group of hickers walking on cooled lava

Photo: Getty Images

Authorities have temporarily closed a portion of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park due to "elevated seismic activity."

The National Park Service said the Mauna Loa summit backcountry will be closed to the public until further notice. However, Mauna Loa Road and the Mauna Loa Lookout at 6,662 feet will remain open.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported a massive uptick in the number of earthquakes in the area over the past few months. In June, there were between five and ten earthquakes per day, but by September, officials were recording 40 to 50 earthquakes every day. On September 23 and 29, there were over 100 earthquakes recorded in the National Park.

Officials said that despite the "heightened unrest," Mauna Loa, which is the largest active volcano in the world, is not in danger of erupting.

"Mauna Loa is not erupting. The volcanic alert level remains at advisory, and the aviation color code remains at yellow. U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists will notify the park if conditions change," the National Park Service said in a news release.

It has been 38 years since Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. That is the longest period between eruptions since records have been kept. Since 1843, the volcano has erupted 33 times, averaging an eruption about once every five years.

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