World’s largest volcano erupts in Hawaii

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The world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, has erupted for the first time in almost 40 years.

The lava flow is mainly around the summit, but residents have been placed on alert and were earlier warned about the risk of falling ash.

The volcano’s alert level has also been upgraded from an “advisory” to a “warning”. This is the highest classification.

Mauna Loa is located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and covers half of the US state’s Big Island. The volcano rises 4,169m above sea level and spans an area of more than 5,179 sq km.

It erupted at 9:30 am on Monday at Moku’āweoweo, the volcano’s summit caldera. Calderas are hollows that form beneath the summit at the end of an eruption.

It followed a series of warnings that an eruption was possible after a spate of recent earthquakes in the region, including more than a dozen reported tremors on Sunday.

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