Watch|Hawaii: Videos show lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano eruption

Watch|Hawaii: Videos show lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano eruption

So far, the Hawaiian authorities have not issued any evacuation orders. But two shelters have been opened as part of the precautionary measures.

Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years. The US revealed on Monday that the volcano in Hawaii is spewing lava and hot ash, with authorities on high alert.

The US Geological Service (USGS) said that the lava is contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians who are living downslope, for now. Although, the residents have been warned that volcanic gases and fine ash may drift their way.

The USGS said on its website: "The eruption of Mauna Loa has migrated from the summit to the Northeast Rift Zone where fissures are feeding several lava flows."

Concerns have been raised since the night sky above Hawaii's largest island glowed bright red when the volcano burst into life for the first time since 1984.

It ended its longest quiet period as hot lava sprang out from the volcano's top at around 11:30pm (local time) on Sunday.

The US-based agency also said: "Based on past events, the early stages of a Mauna Loa rift zone eruption can be very dynamic, and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly."

Watch|Hawaii: Videos show lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano eruption
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Initially, the eruption was reportedly contained within the caldera, which is the concave area at the top of the volcano. However, recent updates show and the vulcanologists also said Monday that lava was now escaping from cracks in its side.

So far, the Hawaiian authorities have not issued any evacuation orders. But two shelters have been opened as part of the precautionary measures.

As quoted by The Weather Channel, one resident described how the eruption looked like. Shantell Walker Otare said," There's an energy in the air that's very, not scary, just powerful. You feel life."

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