After nearly four decades of silence, Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, erupted Sunday night, prompting authorities to declare an ashfall advisory across the state's Big Island.
"The eruption continues at the summit of Mauna Loa. All vents remain restricted to the summit area. However, lava flows in the summit region are visible from Kona. There is currently no indication of any migration of the eruption into a rift zone," the US. Geological Survey wrote on its website, adding the current volcano alert level is "warning."
USGS webcam showed the eruption is currently confined to the summit.
Mauna Loa began to erupt at 11:30 PM HST on Sunday. The eruption is currently confined to the summit, and there is no indication that magma is moving into either rift zone. HVO is closely monitoring. Follow @USGSVolcanoes for updates. Find webcams here: https://t.co/PCmuqZqpcB pic.twitter.com/dv6vJBsASo— USGS (@USGS) November 28, 2022
No mandatory evacuation orders have been given to residents around Mauna Loa, but Hawaii County opened shelters just in case the eruption worsened.
The last time Mauna Loa erupted was in 1984. USGS wrote:
"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.
"If the eruption remains in Moku’āweoweo, lava flows will most likely be confined within the caldera walls.
"However, if the eruptive vents migrate outside its walls, lava flows may move rapidly downslope."
Portions of the Big Island could expect upwards of a quarter-inch of ash in some areas.
Footage of the eruption is being posted on Twitter.
The world's largest active volcano erupted in Hawaii for the first time since 1984.— Christopher Webb🇺🇸VOTE (@cwebbonline) November 28, 2022
Mauna Loa erupted at 11:30 p.m. local time Sunday (4:30 a.m. ET Monday), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. pic.twitter.com/dWdqjx7x0N
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
Latest reports indicate Mauna Loa eruption is still limited to the summit caldera. While the glow from the eruption is visible from parts of Kona, there is no indication that lava has broken out at this time. pic.twitter.com/jC20RHFZki— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) November 28, 2022
The eruption is large enough that weather satellites have detected it from space.
The Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaiʻi's Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island erupted overnight. #GOESWest is tracking the thermal signature of the explosive event, as well as the ash and debris cloud. Updates at https://t.co/Pm6hBJrYvg @USGSVolcanoes #MaunaLoaVolcano pic.twitter.com/CQZ1rOvKo1— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) November 28, 2022
The Mauna Loa volcano on Big Island of Hawaii has erupted. An ashfall advisory is up in that area. You can see it here as it happened on https://t.co/j6cXc9WZdy satellite. This is the first time since 1984 it has. https://t.co/cUDj57GzJZ pic.twitter.com/ncOQBal4pI— Mike's Weather Page (@tropicalupdate) November 28, 2022
We've been closely following the developments of Mauna Loa. In late October, the intensifying earthquake swarms underneath the volcano caught our attention, indicating a possible eruption. And the quakes continued this month as we noted, "such unrest could be a precursor to an eruption not seen in decades."