The radiance of the erupting volcano illuminated the sky as the sun rose on Monday above the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Mauna Loa, the biggest active volcano in the world, has exploded for the first time in over 40 years. Although the majority of the lava flow is contained within the peak, locals have been alerted and previously warned of the possibility of falling ash.
Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the biggest active volcano in the world, erupted on November 28, spewing ash and casting a crimson light over the sky. Videos of the Big Island of Hawaii's sky glowing red and ash spewing into the air have hit the web. (Image: AP)
Lava was seen erupting rapidly in satellite and infrared imagery, and smoke could be seen covering the region in the aerial footage. Towns were not immediately in danger as a result of the eruption, but authorities warned locals to prepare to leave if lava flows began to threaten populated areas. Many of the people who now call the region home weren't there when Mauna Loa last erupted 38 years ago. (Image: Reuters)
According to a Foxweather report, ash from the volcano rose as high as 45,000 feet, citing the National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu. The NWS also issued a warning that winds might spread volcanic glass fibres known as Pele's Hair, and volcanic gas downstream. (Image: AP)
The volcano has exhibited signals of disturbance since September of this year, according to the US Geological Survey. A report by NPR stated that while emergency shelters had been opened at the Old Kona Airport in Kailua-Kona and the Ka'u gym in Pahala, there had been no request for an evacuation. NPR cited Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth as saying that no settlements below the erupting volcano appear to be in danger. (Image: AP)
According to the National Park Service, Mauna Loa is Hawaiian for "long mountain." The volcano, which occupies nearly 51% of Big Island, rises 30,000 feet above the ocean's floor and is higher than Mount Everest at 13,681 feet above sea level. The explosion on Sunday is the first one since 1984. Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843. (Image: AP)