How the largest volcano in the world erupts: photos and videos from the scene

Sunday, November 27, 2022 at around 23:30 local time (09:30 GMT on Monday) Mauna Loa volcano

started erupting.The last time this happened was in 1984. There were few people living on the Big Island of Hawaii then. This time around, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) warned approximately 200,000 people of the danger. According to the report, the eruption "can be very dynamic, and the location and progression of lava flows can change rapidly."

Mauna Loa eruption as seen from Waikoloa at approximately 1:25 am local time (HST).
The eruption comes from the top of the volcano, although lava has overflowed the caldera. USGS

Hawaiian Volcano ObservatoryThe Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) of the US Geological Survey has raised its volcanic activity warning level from "advisory" to its highest warning level.

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Lava fountains along a fissure in Mauna Loa's northeast rift zone at approximately 9:30 AM PST on November 28, 2022. C. Lynn/USGS

According to the statement, HVO also increased the levelaviation threat from "yellow" to "red" to highlight the presence of airborne gases, ash particles and volcanic glass fibers - Pele's hair. It is a filamentous form of lava in the form of volcanic fiberglass fibers. They are formed by the stretching of molten basalt fountains, flows, lava falls and bursts of lava, which quickly cools in the air in the wind.

Although the houses are not currently in danger, a gas plume is visible from erupting fissure fountains and lava flows.

Aerial photographs taken at 7:15 local time (HST) from a Civil Air Patrol flight. Mauna Loa eruption in the northeast rift zone. Natalie Delin/USGS

Since 1843, when the first good happenedthe documented historical eruption of Mauna Loa, the volcano erupted 33 times. It rises 4,169 meters above the Pacific Ocean and is part of the volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands. According to the US National Park Service, it makes up 51% of the island of the Big Island of Hawaii.

When it erupted in March and April 1984, the eruption lasted 22 days and the lava flow spread to within 5 miles of Hilo, the island's largest city, Reuters reported.


Thermal images of the volcano. Credit: USGS

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Cover: Webcam image of the summit of Mauna Loa taken at 11:46 pm PST. USGS webcam