What does Mauna Loa look like right now? Photos show surreal view from volcanic eruption

USGS Volcanoes

Photos and videos of the eruption of Mauna Loa have started to spread on social media.

Some photos taken shortly after the volcano started erupting at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, show an eerie red glow on the horizon as lava reflected on the atmosphere and fire-tinted clouds of ash and smoke billowed out from the summit. The hazy glow was still viewable as the sun started to rise over the island.

And despite the potentially destructive properties of an eruption, some remarked how beautiful the view also was. Many shared photos taken from backyards, businesses and coastal areas.

“Mauna Loa erupting at sunrise is literally the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” one Twitter user wrote in a post in which they also shared photos. The user said they had woken up to the volcano erupting and also shared a video of the eruption and wrote: “Video of the beautiful power of nature.”

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Another user shared a photo of the view from the sea wall in Kona.

“This is an amazing sight, in my 40+ years of going to the big island I’ve never seen an eruption this close to Kona,” they wrote.

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Another user posted a video of volcanic ash spewing into the sky in the distance.

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“She’s awake!” another user wrote. “View of Mauna Loa erupting from Saddle Road this morning.”

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The Hawaii Pacific Parks Association wrote on Twitter that it was “an amazing time to be on Hawai’i Island.”

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By morning, the eerie red glow had all but disappeared and given way to clouds of white ash and smoke.

The U.S. Geological Survey Volcanoes shared photos of the eruption’s lava flow from a Civil Air Patrol flight. The photos showed a band of glowing lava creeping downslope to the north, USGS Volcanoes said.

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The eruption began in Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera of the 13,100-foot volcano, at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, the Hawaii Volcano Observatory reported.

The observatory initially said lava flows were contained to the caldera, but some Kona residents reported lava flowing down the mountain, HawaiiNewsNow reported.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory told residents and visitors to be on the lookout for ash, gas vog, and Pele’s Hair that could be carried downwind from the volcano, McClatchy News reported.

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