The world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years, spewing ash Monday morning without threatening homes.
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The eruption began on Sunday evening at 11:30 pm local time (9:30 am GMT on Monday), the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS) announced in a warning message. “Currently, the lava flows are upstream and do not threaten the population downstream,” he first clarified.
On Monday morning, in response to a photo posted on Twitter that appeared to show lava, the USGS said “it appears that lava has escaped from the caldera.”
“There is no indication that the eruption became a rupture zone,” which would have allowed magma to travel underground more easily, the institute added Monday.
“The first stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can develop quickly and the location and progress of lava flows can change quickly,” the institute warned in its first note on Sunday.
Winds can carry “volcanic gas and Pele’s hair,” volcanic glass fibers, the USGS said.
The US Weather Service (NWS) has warned that volcanic ash may accumulate around the volcano.
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Mauna Loa, which rises to 4169 meters, is located on the island of Hawaii, the largest of the Pacific archipelago.
The volcano has erupted 33 times since 1843. The last one was in 1984 and lasted for 22 days.
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