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Dozens of earthquakes detected as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, world’s largest active volcano, remains in ‘state of heightened unrest’

<i>Caleb Jones/AP/File</i><br/>The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency issued a volcano advisory alert after 36 small earthquakes were detected near Mauna Loa
AP
Caleb Jones/AP/File
The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency issued a volcano advisory alert after 36 small earthquakes were detected near Mauna Loa

By Rebekah Riess and Claire Colbert, CNN

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency on Friday issued a volcano advisory alert after 36 small earthquakes were detected between Thursday and Friday near Mauna Loa, earth’s largest active volcano, which “continues to be in a state of heightened unrest,” according to an update from the United States Geological Survey.

The agency points out that Mauna Loa is not erupting and that there are “no signs of an imminent eruption at this time,” adding that the unrest causing the quakes is most likely being driven by the renewed input of magma two to five miles beneath the volcano’s summit.

The volcano’s heightened state of unrest, with increased earthquake rates, started in mid-September 2022, the scientific agency said. The elevated seismic activity caused Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to close the Mauna Loa summit to all backcountry hikers until further notice, the park announced in early October. The main section of the park remains open, the US National Park Service said.

Earthquake activity has been increasing from five to 10 earthquakes a day since June 2022 to some 10 to 20 earthquakes a day in July and August, according to the Geological Survey. Peak numbers of more than 100 earthquakes a day were recorded on September 23 and September 29, CNN previously reported.

According to the agency, Mauna Loa, which covers half of the Island of Hawaii, has erupted 33 times and last erupted in 1984.

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CNN’s Joe Sutton and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.

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