Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, which is the world’s largest active volcano, erupted for the first time in four decades on Sunday, November 28. The volcano’s alert level has been upgraded from an “advisory” to a “warning”, which is the highest level in terms of severity.
“Lava flows are contained within the summit area and are not threatening downslope communities,” officials said. The US Geological Service (USGS) has, however, warned the situation could change rapidly and residents have been told to remain vigilant.
Videos poured in on social media as the night sky in various parts of Hawaii lit up in a blood-red hue. Take a look at some of the spectacular videos and photos capturing this rare sight:
Mauna Loa eruption hawaii right now pic.twitter.com/uQz5OXwTg2— kelly (@MAGAHAWAII) November 28, 2022
UPDATE: View from Saddle Road of lava from Mauna Loa volcano eruption as of 1:30 am — Hawaii County Civil Defense working to confirm if any lava has flowed outside the summit caldera (pics: @KITV4 viewer AJ Taaca) pic.twitter.com/dN5reiq4PW— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) November 28, 2022
Mauna Loa is erupting for the first time in nearly four decades on the Big Island of Hawaii. The USGS has more on what is happening and may happen next. (It's difficult to predict. The skies are rather omninous in Kailua-Kona.https://t.co/tuP5Sv2rBZ https://t.co/fHjE0tC9CJ— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) November 28, 2022
Hawaii Island ~ Mauna Loa is erupting! Not overflowing the caldera at this time.— JeanneSchultzAfuvai🇺🇸🇫🇷🇦🇸🇼🇸🇺🇦☮️ (@TutuAfuvai) November 28, 2022
Photos from upper Napo'opo'o area & Kona near Manago Hotel taken by Big Island residents. pic.twitter.com/Exf3EI4x0t
Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth, it just started erupting. Here's the caldera filling up with lava in the last 2 hours (last frame from 14min ago). Take care my friends on Big Island!— Dr James O'Donoghue (@physicsJ) November 28, 2022
Images used to make this gif from: https://t.co/dIK3AnLiYX https://t.co/uUVkIIBrlC pic.twitter.com/ZfvVi5O7Oi
Mauna Loa sent lava flows within 5 miles of the city of Hilo. The latest eruption began at Moku’āweoweo, the volcano’s summit.
After a spate of recent earthquakes in the region, geologists issued a series of warnings that an eruption was possible. Over a dozen tremors occurred in the region that measured at more than 2.5 magnitudes on Sunday. “Based on past events, the early stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can be very dynamic and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly,” the USGS said.
Some residents of the South Kona coast have begun to voluntarily evacuate, though no evacuation orders are in place yet.
The National Weather Service issued a statement that said: “Winds may carry volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s hair downwind. Residents at risk from Mauna Loa lava flows should review preparedness and refer to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense information for further guidance.”
It added: “Based on past events, the early stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can be very dynamic and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.”
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