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You are here News Environment World's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, erupts in Hawaii; moves to northeast rift zone

World's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, erupts in Hawaii; moves to northeast rift zone

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Mauna Loa erupts

Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has begun to erupt in Hawaii, the U.S. Geological Survey and other authorities said.

The eruption started late Sunday at about 11:30 p.m. HST in Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, according to a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory alert. The observatory said it was working closely with emergency management partners.

The eruption had remained confined to the summit caldera early Monday, but USGS Volcanoes and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency later reported some overflowing on the southwest portion. Shortly before 12:20 p.m. EST (7:20 a.m. HST) USGS Volcanoes announced the volcano's eruption had moved to the northeast rift zone, with lava flows heading downslope to the north.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the lava flows are not threatening any nearby communities downhill at this time. Still, volcanic gas, fine ash and Pele's Hair, thin strands of volcanic glass, could "be carried downwind."

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