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Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano Erupts – In Pictures

The eruption began on Sunday night at the summit of the volcano after a series of large earthquakes.

Photograph: Andrew Richard Hara/Getty Images

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island. The glow of the eruption is seen through a grove of palm trees, in Kona.

Photograph: Marco Garcia/AP

Mauna Loa’s volume is estimated to be at least 75,000 sq km, making it the world’s largest volcano when measured from the ocean floor to its summit. A satellite image shows lava flowing after the eruption.

Photograph: Maxar Technologies/Reuters

While the eruption is not posing an immediate threat to communities, officials have told residents to prepare to evacuate if lava flows start heading toward populated areas.

Photograph: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock

Officials have also urged the public to stay away from the volcano as lava is shooting 30 to 60 metres into the air out of three separate fissures, estimated to be up to 3.2km long.

Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Some parts of Big Island are under an ashfall advisory issued by the national weather service in Honolulu, which said up to 0.6cm of ash could accumulate in some areas.

Photograph: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock

People watch the glow from the lava.

Photograph: Caleb Jones/AP

An aerial view of a fissure and lava flows on Mauna Loa’s north-east rift zone on the first day of the eruption.

Photograph: USGS/ZUMA Press Wire Service/REX/Shutterstock

Lava flows from the Mokuaweoweo Crater down the volcano’s north-east rift. Historically, each eruption has lasted a few weeks and the current episode is expected to follow this pattern.


The last eruption was in 1984 from the north-east side of the volcano. Lava headed toward the town of Hilo but stopped a few miles short.

Photograph: Andrew Richard Hara/Getty Images

Mauna Loa is a shield volcano, named because the long, broad flanks built up by repeated lava flows give it the appearance of a warrior’s shield.

Photograph: Marco Garcia/AP

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