This webcam image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on Nov 28, 2022 courtesy of the National Weather Service, shows the lava in the summit caldera of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years. (HANDOUT/ US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / AFP)
An eruption began in the summit caldera of Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, on Sunday night, the US Geological Service's (USGS) volcanic activity service said.
"At this time, lava flows are contained within the summit area and are not threatening downslope communities," the notification said.
Mauna Loa, which takes up more than half of the Big Island in Hawaii, and rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, last erupted in March and April of 1984
However, the notification warned, based on previous events, that the early eruption stages of this volcano can be very dynamic and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.
ALSO READ: Historic Hawaii volcano eruption scarred landscape, lives
The volcano alert level was upgraded from an "advisory" to a "warning."
The notification added that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) would conduct aerial reconnaissance as soon as possible to assess hazards and better describe the eruption.
Over a dozen earthquakes of more than 2.5 magnitude struck the region in the last two hours, according to the USGS, with one measuring 4.2 in magnitude.
READ MORE: Hawaii volcano eruption enters new phase as crater falls quiet
Mauna Loa, which takes up more than half of the Big Island in Hawaii, and rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, last erupted in March and April of 1984, sending a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of the city of Hilo.