Scientists lower alert for Mauna Loa, say eruption could end

  • In this aerial image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, fissure 3 is seen erupting on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, Wednesday. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

  • People watch and record images of lava from the Mauna Loa volcano on Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

HONOLULU — Scientists lowered the alert level for the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island from a warning to a watch on Saturday and said the mountain’s first eruption in nearly 40 years may soon end.