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

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2022-11-28T17:07:51Z

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 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday (0930 GMT Monday).

The lava is contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians living downslope for now, the U.S. 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 (4,169 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 are 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.

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Lava is seen at Mauna Loa?s summit region during an eruption as viewed by a remote camera of the U.S. Geological Survey in Hawaii, U.S. November 27, 2022. USGS/Handout via REUTERS

Lava is seen at Mauna Loa?s summit region during an eruption as viewed by a remote camera of the U.S. Geological Survey in Hawaii, U.S. November 28, 2022. USGS/Handout via REUTERS

Mauna Loa’s summit region glows during an eruption as viewed by a geologist of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in Hawaii, U.S. November 28, 2022. USGS/Ken Hon/Handout via REUTERS

A general view of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, U.S., November 28, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. kelly/ @MAGAHAWAII/via REUTERS

A general view of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, U.S., November 28, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. kelly/ @MAGAHAWAII/via REUTERS

The summit caldera of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, November 28, 2022. via USGS

The Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii is shown in this March 25, 1984 handout photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and released to Reuters on June 19, 2014. REUTERS/U.S. Geological Survey/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

The Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii is shown in this 1975 handout photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and released to Reuters on June 19, 2014. REUTERS/U.S. Geological Survey/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

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