29 Nov 2022

Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano erupts for first time in nearly 40 years

10:52 am on 29 November 2022
This aerial image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) from Civil Air Patrol on November 28, 2022, shows the lava on the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa in Hawaii. - Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years, US authorities said, as emergency crews went on alert early Monday. (Photo by Handout / US Geological Survey / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / US Geological Survey " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Hawaiians living downslope were not in danger at this time. Photo: AFP PHOTO / US Geological Survey

Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began erupting on Sunday for the first time since 1984, ending its longest quiet period in recorded history.

The night sky above Hawaii's largest island glowed a hellish red as bright, hot lava sprang forth at the volcano's summit at around 11:30pm local time on Sunday.

The lava was contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians living downslope for now, the US Geological Service (USGS) said.

The service warned residents on Monday that volcanic gases and fine ash may drift their way.

Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet (4169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, part of the chain of volcanoes that formed the islands of Hawaii.

It last erupted in March and April of 1984, sending a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of Hilo, the island's largest city.

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency said it had opened two shelters on the island as a precaution but also emphasized that there were no signs that lava will threaten populated areas and that it had not issued any evacuation orders.

About half of all recorded eruptions of Mauna Loa had been confined to the summit, the agency said.

- Reuters

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