The world’s largest active volcano erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years

It is the Mauna Loa, which is expelling ash and debris. They warn nearby populations that they are alert.

Long Mountainthe world’s largest active volcano, began spewing ash and rubble in Hawaii for the first time in almost 40 years. Authorities warned residents to prepare in case lava flows into their communities.

The eruption began Sunday night in the caldera at the summit of the volcano on the Big Island, after a series of strong earthquakes one after another, said Ken Hon, the scientist in charge of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

magma moved to the surfacealthough the lava flows were contained in the summit area and did not threaten nearby communities.

The photo shows the Mauna Loa volcano erupting from vents in the Northeast Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo: AP

Time-lapse video of the eruption taken at night shows molten lava lighting up the caldera, moving through it like waves in the ocean.

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has received some photos that suggest the southern end of the caldera has overflowedwhich has caused some lava flows within a few kilometers (miles) of the caldera, Hon said.

Lava flows out of the crater of Mauna Loa.  Photo: AP

Lava flows out of the crater of Mauna Loa. Photo: AP

The last eruption occurred in 1984. In some previous emergencies, lava overflowed from the caldera but never came close to populated areas.

“About half of Mauna Loa’s recorded eruptions have been confined to the caldera area without posing any danger to nearby populations,” the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency explained.

“Right now we’re looking at the signs, trying to figure out if it’s going to be an eruption that stays inside the top of Mauna Loa or if it’s going down one of the rift zones, either to the southwest or to the west.” northeast,” Hon said.

An image of the April 1984 eruption, the last recorded from the Mauna Loa volcano.  Photo: AP/File

An image of the April 1984 eruption, the last recorded from the Mauna Loa volcano. Photo: AP/File

“We don’t want to try to guess the volcano,” Hon explained. “We have to let it show us what it’s going to do and then let people know what’s going on as soon as possible.”

According to authorities, there is currently no indication that the eruption is moving towards a rift zone. A fissure zone is one in which the mountain is splitting and the rock is cracked and relatively weak, making it easier for magma to escape.

“Right now, there’s no need to be alarmed,” Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth said.

So far no evacuation orders have been issued.

The US National Weather Service said that a trace of ash “of less than a quarter of an inch” can accumulate in some parts of the island, so they recommended that people with respiratory problems not leave their homes so as not to inhale the ash. airborne particles.

The Mauna Loa volcano is located a few kilometers from Kilauea, which in 2018 suffered an eruption that destroyed more than 700 homes, forcing several residents to move.

With information from AP and EFE

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