The world’s largest active volcano in Hawaii has erupted for the first time in nearly two decades.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) says that the Mauna Loa volcano erupted yesterday morning.
Although most of the lava remains on the top of the mountain, as the effects of the ash can be affected, warnings have also been issued to the people who live far away from the volcano.
However, the agency said that lava is flowing from the northeast side of the volcano, known as the Northeast Rift Zone.
“The lava flow poses no threat to communities living in the lowlands. But all indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone.” US Geological Survey said.
It added that volcanic ash, gas and shards of glass could be carried elsewhere by the wind.
However, the situation prompted Southwest Airlines to cancel ten flights between Hilo and Honolulu on Monday.
‘At this time, we do not expect any other impacts,’ said a spokesman for the airline.
‘Depending on past events, the location and progression of lava flows can change rapidly after a Mauna Loa eruption,’ the USGS said.
Local news reports said that authorities have not issued evacuation orders for people around the volcano, but several emergency shelters have been opened in Hawaii.
Mauna Loa is a volcano that covers half of the southernmost island of Hawaii.
It is located more than 13,600 feet (4,145 m) above the Pacific Ocean.
Measured from the underwater base of the volcano, it is 30,000 feet above the ocean floor, which is higher than Mount Everest.
Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times.
The volcano’s first eruption is considered a well-documented historical eruption, according to the US Geological Survey.