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.