Photos show surreal view of Mauna Loa eruption

Photos and videos of Mauna Loa’s eruption have started spreading on social media.

Some photos taken shortly after the volcano began to erupt around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 27, show an eerie red glow on the horizon as lava reflects off the atmosphere and clouds of fire-tinged ash and smoke billow from the summit. The hazy glow was still visible as the sun began to rise over the island.

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

“The sunrise eruption of Mauna Loa is literally the most amazing thing I have ever seen,” one Twitter user wrote in a post in which they also shared photos. The user said he woke up with the volcano erupting and also shared a video of the eruption and wrote, “Video of the beautiful power of nature.”

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

“This is an incredible sight, in my 40 years on the Big Island I have never seen an eruption this close to Kona,” they wrote.

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

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

The Hawaii Pacific Parks Association wrote on Twitter that it was “an amazing time to be on the island of Hawaii.”

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

The US Geological Survey Volcanoes shared photos of the eruption lava flow from a Civil Air Patrol flight. Photos showed a band of glowing lava crawling north, USGS Volcanoes said.

The eruption began at Moku’āweoweo, the volcano’s 13,100-foot summit caldera, around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory reported.

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

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

This story was originally published November 28, 2022 2:02 p.m.

Brooke (she/them) is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter who covers LGBTQ+ news and western national parks. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously covered LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they’re not writing stories, they enjoy spending time with their cats, riding horses, or spending time outdoors.

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