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World’s largest active volcano erupting in Hawaii after nearly 4 decades

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, is erupting for the first time after nearly 4 decades.

Residents of the island are advised to be alert, even though the volcano doesn’t pose any immediate danger to communities.

“Lava flows are not threatening any downslope communities,” the U.S. Geological Survey said midday Monday. “All indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone. Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s Hair (strands of lava glass) may be carried downwind.”

The agency warned that the location and direction of the lava flows can rapidly change, and “the early stages of a Mauna Loa rift zone eruption can be very dynamic.”

The eruption began at approximately 4:30 a.m. ET Monday at the summit in Moku‘āweoweo, later spreading to the Northeast Rift Zone.

“We do not expect any eruptive activity outside the Northeast Rift Zone,” the Hawaii Emergency Management said in a statement. “No property is at risk currently. There is a visible gas plume from the erupting fissure fountains and lava flows, with the plume primarily being blown to the Northwest.

Mauna Loa’s active eruption is reportedly the first since 1984.