The world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, located in Hawaii, erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years, throwing ash around Monday morning without yet threatening homes.
The eruption began Sunday evening at 11:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. Monday GMT), the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS) announced in a warning message. “Currently, the lava flows are contained at the summit and do not threaten populations downstream,” he first clarified.
Monday morning, in response to a photo posted on Twitter and appearing to show lava, the USGS said it “appears that lava may be escaping from the caldera.”
“There is no indication of any progression of the eruption to a rift zone,” which allows magma to travel underground more easily, the Institute added Monday.
“Early phases of a Mauna Loa eruption can progress quickly and the location and progress of the lava flows can change quickly”, had warned the Institute in its first note on Sunday.
The winds could carry “volcanic gas and Pele's hair from volcanic glass fibers, the USGS said.
The US Weather Service (NWS) has warned that volcanic ash could accumulate around the volcano.
The Mauna Loa, which is rises to 4,169 meters, is located on the island of Hawaii, the largest of this Pacific archipelago.
The volcano has erupted 33 times since 1843. Its last was in 1984, and had lasted 22 days.