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Mahalo To All The Contributors On Mauna Loa!

8:00 PM · Dec 15, 2022

On behalf of Hawaiʻi Tracker, I’d like to thank everyone that contributed to covering the Mauna Loa eruption. It truly is a team effort to be able to provide the range of content that was shared during this eruption. From mapping efforts led by Kit Tincher, to all the fantastic photographers that shared their images and video which are too many to name, special thanks to Andrew Hara for collaborating once again with Hawaiʻi Tracker. So many people from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea reactivated, but thankfully this eruption has been well-placed away from communities for a rift eruption on Mauna Loa. I am in awe of this community and what it’s capable of when the time calls. We have come a long way from the 2018 eruption response from the County in terms of communication and providing people a safe area to view the eruption. Yet, there remains room for improvement, but those discussions will come later. Right now, I’d like to commend the County and federal partners including USGS and PTA for the strides that have been made toward preparedness and response. Over the course of the eruption of Mauna Loa, Philip and I managed to do 22 live-streams over the course of two weeks, producing over 20 hours of content. We had the pleasure of being joined by Mayor Mitch Roth, USGS-HVO Scientist-In-Charge Ken Hon, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno, Pōhakuloa Training Area commander Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin, volcanic gas specialists Dr. Evgenia Ilyinskaya and Dr. Nadya Moisseeva, and LouAnna Pineapples from Two Pineapples. To me, one of the most essential takeaways from this eruption is that now everyone living on the island has a Mauna Loa eruption under their belt. Yes, it was a best-case scenario for a rift-zone eruption of Mauna Loa but you don’t want to paddle out into breaking ocean waves before treading water in a swimming pool. This eruption provided something training and workshop scenarios never could - real-world experience. By going through this eruption, everyone from first responders to emergency managers, to the community at large, are now more prepared for when magma once again enters the hazardous Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa and lava flows through communities in the middle of the night once again. I’d also like to thank our moderation team, including Ryan Finley, Maren Purves, and Sarah Wilkinson. We added roughly 16,000 new members over the course of the 2-week eruption and managed to screen new requests to try and ensure only real people are joining the group. While the eruption has taken place, we have been the target of two separate networks of fake accounts. I figure I removed around 500 of those accounts while we were trying to maintain a steady stream of information for our legitimate users. (Side note, if you see any Slavic supermodels with names in Cyrillic please report it for review) Anyways, Mahalo to everyone that threw in a hand to help with the eruption! I was only able to name a few of the helpers out there in our community, there are many more and they all help in their own ways. IMAGE FROM JOSEPH ANTHONY, LAST PHASE OF THE ERUPTION. YES, IT WAS VERY COLD.

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