HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK - Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano began erupting for the first time in 38 years on Sunday night — ending the longest quiet period between eruptions on record — and you can watch the eruption unfold.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has provided real-time images on its website, which are updated every five minutes. These images are taken from a temporary research cameras positioned on the north and south rims of Mokuʻāweoweo, the summit caldera of the Mauna Loa volcano.
According to the scientific agency, if you carefully view the images around the early morning or late evening, you may see a few thermal areas emitting steam.
Mauna Loa volcano erupted Sunday
USGS said Mauna Loa’s eruption began at about 11:30 p.m. local time inside Moku‘āweoweo.
According to the agency, the eruption of Mauna Loa migrated from the summit to the Northeast Rift Zone where fissures are feeding several lava flows.
Summit of Mauna Loa volcano from the Northwest Rim (Credit: USGS)
The USGS said lava flows are currently not threatening any downslope communities and all indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone.
However, winds in the area may carry volcanic gas, fine ash and Pele's Hair may be carried downwind. Pele’s Hair is thin glass fibers that are formed during a volcanic eruption and are named after the Hawaiian volcano deity, Pele.
The agency said that residents at risk from Mauna Loa lava flows should review preparedness and refer to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense information for further guidance.
Because of the threat of ash blowing downslope, the National Weather Service has issued an Ashfall Advisory on Hawaii's Big Island until 10 a.m. local time.
This image is from a temporary thermal camera located on the north rim of Mauna Loa's summit caldera. (Credit: USGS)
Officials said a quarter-inch of ash accumulation is possible, and people with respiratory problems should stay indoors or wear cloth masks to limit exposure to potentially dangerous particles.
Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times, averaging an eruption every five years.
However, most eruptions before 1950 had an average frequency of 3.5 years. Since 1950, there have only been two eruptions – a summit eruption in 1975 and a rift eruption in 1984.
It had been the longest quiet period on record for Mauna Loa before Sunday night's eruption.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. FOX Weather contributed.