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Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. An eruption of a volcano like Mauna Loa has a deep yet very personal cultural significance for many Native Hawaiians. It can be an opportunity to feel a connection with creation itself through the way lava gives birth to new land, as well as a time to reflect on their own place in the world and the people who came before them.

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The spectacle of incandescent lava spewing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa has drawn thousands of visitors and is turning into a tourism boon for a Big Island town near the world’s largest volcano. Some hotels in and around Hilo are becoming fully booked in what is normally a slower time of the year for business. Helicopter tours of Mauna Loa, which began erupting Sunday after being quiet for 38 years, are also in high demand by tourists and journalists. Hawaii's travel industry normally falls off this time of year between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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People in Hawaii are asking if anything can be done to stop or divert the flow of lava as molten rock from Mauna Loa volcano inches toward a highway on the Big Island. It's an issue that comes up every time lava approaches infrastructure or towns. And over the decades, people have tried rock wall berms and other barriers to divert lava flows. The Army once even dropped bombs on Mauna Loa. Whether it can be done successfully depends on force of the lava flow and the terrain. But many in Hawaii also question the wisdom of interfering with nature and Pele, the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.

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California water agencies that serve 27 million people will get just 5% of what they requested from the state to start 2023. Thursday's announcement by water officials comes as the nation's most populous state anticipates a fourth dry year. California typically gets half its annual rain and snowfall from January through March, so the allocations could change depending on how much precipitation falls. Limited state supplies mean water managers will continue to urge people to rip up grass, water their plants less, take shorter showers and engage in other water-saving activities.

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The lava from the world's largest volcano is so hot and bright that the sky has turned orange. At night, throngs of people have been gathering to witness nature's spectacular light show in Hawaii.

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The world’s largest volcano is oozing rivers of glowing lava and drawing thousands of awestruck viewers who jammed a Hawaii highway that could soon be covered by the flow. Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber Sunday, causing volcanic ash and debris to drift down from the sky. On Wednesday, a main highway linking towns on the east and west coasts of the Big Island became an impromptu viewing point. Thousands of cars jammed the highway near Volcanoes National Park. Anne Andersen left her overnight shift as a nurse to see the spectacle. She was afraid that the road would soon be closed.

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An Atlantic hurricane season with 14 named storms has ended, leaving residents in the Florida Keys to celebrate even as others around Florida and Puerto Rico continue to deal with the damage caused by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona. Of the 2022 season’s named storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says eight became hurricanes, with winds of at least 74 mph. Two fo them intensified to major hurricanes with winds reaching at least 111 mph. Forecaster say an average hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This season was notable for a record-tying inactive August.

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Environmentalists say the federal government isn’t doing enough to ensure the survival of the Rio Grande silvery minnow as drought tightens its grip on one of the longest rivers in the West. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the group WildEarth Guardians asked a federal judge to force U.S. water and wildlife agencies to reassess the effects of water management activities on the endangered fish. They want federal officials to develop enforceable measures to keep dams and diversions along the river's stretch through New Mexico's most populated area from jeopardizing the minnow. The fish was declared endangered nearly 30 years ago and its population continues to dwindle as the river sees record-low flows.

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A twister roaring out of the early morning darkness ripped through a small Alabama community, killing two during an outbreak of tornadoes in the South. The deadly storm that struck Flatwood, Alabama, early Wednesday was one of dozens of tornadoes kicked up by a severe storm front that swept from east Texas across several Southern states over two days. Tornadoes destroyed several buildings and toppled trees in Mississippi and Alabama. A 39-year-old woman and her 8-year-old-son were killed in Flatwood when a large tree fell on their mobile home. Tornadoes also damaged homes, destroyed a fire station and ripped the roof off an apartment complex in Mississippi.

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The eruption of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano has temporarily knocked off power to the world’s premier station that measures heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But officials say Wednesday it won’t be a problem. There are hundreds of other carbon dioxide monitoring sites across the globe. The federal government is looking for a temporary alternate site on the Hawaiian island. And officials are contemplating flying a generator to the Mauna Loa observatory to get its power back so it can take measurements again. The Hawaiian station goes back to 1958 making the famous Keeling Curve that shows rising carbon dioxide levels from burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

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Waves of orange, glowing lava and ash blasted and billowed from the world’s largest active volcano and people on Hawaii’s Big Island have been warned to be ready if their communities are threatened. The ongoing eruption of Mauna Loa wasn’t immediately endangering nearby towns on Monday. But officials told residents to be ready in the event of a worst-case scenario. The U.S. Geological Survey says the eruption began late Sunday night in the volcano on the Big Island. Scientists had been on alert because of a recent spike in earthquakes at the summit of the volcano, which last erupted in 1984.

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Despite assurances that lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa isn't threatening communities, some residents are remaining vigilant. For Nicole Skilling, the first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is bringing back bad memories. She fled from another Hawaii volcano in 2018. Back then she lived near the community where lava destroyed more than 700 homes. She relocated to the South Kona area, only to find herself packing her car with food and supplies after Mauna Loa erupted late Sunday. Officials say the areas where lava is emerging are far from homes and communities. The eruption has also drawn onlookers to a national park for views of the event that are said to be “spectacular.”

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Residents in several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi have taken cover amid the blare of tornado sirens amid a severe weather outbreak erupting in the Deep South. There were no immediate reports of damage from the potent storms late Tuesday, but multiple tornado warnings were issued. More than 25 million people are in the path of the vast storm system moving from Texas to Indiana and Georgia. The latest storm outlook says parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are at the highest risk for strong storms. Meanwhile, heavy snow was snarling traffic in parts of the Upper Midwest.

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Lava is shooting into the air and flowing downhill as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano erupts for the first time in nearly 40 years. For now, lava is not threatening any homes or communities and no evacuation orders have been issued. Lava could eventually reach neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Big Island though it could take a week or more for molten rock to reach populated areas. Mauna Loa is spewing sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases which combine with other particles to form volcanic smog, or vog. State health officials are urging people to cut back on outdoor exercise and other activities that cause heavy breathing.

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A survivor of a weekend landslide that killed eight people and left four missing on the Italian resort island of Ischia has described the horror of awakening to a “thunderous roar” as the mass of loosened earth approached. Firefighters dug out buried homes with shovels just below tree line on Mount Epomeo on Tuesday while searching for people still missing. They included the parents of three children who were among the dead. Triggered by exceptional rainfall, the slide before dawn on Saturday filled homes with mud, water and debris. Authorities warned that more residents may need to be evacuated if rain returns to the island in the coming days, as forecast.

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