Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, began erupting on Sunday for the first time since 1984, ending its longest quiet period in recorded history.
The night sky above Hawaii’s largest island glowed a hellish red as bright, hot lava sprang forth at the volcano’s summit at around 11:30 pm local time on Sunday (0930 GMT Monday).
The lava is contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians living downslope for now, the US Geological Service (USGS) said.
The service warned residents on Monday that volcanic gases and fine ash may drift their way.
Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, part of the chain of volcanoes that formed the islands of Hawaii. It last erupted in March and April of 1984, sending a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of Hilo, the island’s largest city.