Mauna Loa: See How The Sky Turned Red As Earth's Largest Active Volcano Erupted

Drone footage reveals the danger at the mountain's summit.
In this long camera exposure, cars drive down Saddle Road as Mauna Loa erupts in the distance, on Nov. 28, 2022.
In this long camera exposure, cars drive down Saddle Road as Mauna Loa erupts in the distance, on Nov. 28, 2022.
via Associated Press

Mauna Loa erupted on Sunday evening for the first time in almost four decades, turning the sky a vibrant shade of red.

The Hawaiian volcano is the largest active one on Earth, having last erupted back in 1984, and is one of five volcanoes which are part of Big Island.

This is the southernmost island which makes up the Hawaiian archipelago.

While authorities are not worried about the impact it will have on local communities at the moment, they are keeping a watchful eye on the natural spectacle.

What Does It Look Like?

With the volcano standing 13,678 feet above sea level, the eruption lit up the night sky in Hawaii, as you can see from this TikTok video.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also tweeted satellite images to show the heat coming from the eruption as it appeared from space along with the sulphur dioxide it has released.

Could It Be Dangerous?

It’s not a cause for concern right now, but the authorities are keeping a careful eye on it.

Lava flow is still restricted within the caldera (the hollowed out area at the top of the mountain), and therefore does not pose a threat to nearby communities.

But warnings have been issued about volcanic ash and gas, and there has been an increase in earthquakes as a result of the eruption — that’s how authorities suspected that some volcanic activity was around the corner.

Residents have been told they have to be ready to evacuate, with lava and smoky ash already leaking out of the volcano.

There are 200,000 people living on the island, who are wary that the direction lava flows can quickly change.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, part of the US Geological Survey, said: “Lava flows in the summit region are visible from Kona.

“Winds may carry volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s hair (a type of volcanic glass) downwind.”

Mauna Loa, a name which means long mountain, is also much larger than the neighbouring Kilauea volcano, which erupted in 2018, and ruined 700 homes.

A 1950 eruption from Mauna Loa also triggered lava to travel 15 miles in less than three hours, demonstrating just how fast its lava can travel.

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