Photos show a surreal view from Mauna Loa’s eruption

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

Some photos, taken shortly after the volcanic eruption began around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, November 27, show an eerie red glow on the horizon as lava reflected in the atmosphere and plumes of fire-colored ash and smoke rose from the summit. The hazy glow was still visible as the sun rose over the island.

And despite the potentially destructive properties of an eruption, some remarked on how beautiful the prospect was. Many shared photos from backyards, shops and seaside areas.

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

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

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

Another user posted a video of volcanic ash splashing 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 tweeted that it was “an amazing time to be on the island of Hawaii.”

By morning, the eerie red glow was all but gone, giving way to clouds of white ash and smoke.

The US Geological Survey Volcanoes shared photos of the eruption’s lava flow from a civil air patrol flight. The photos showed a ribbon of glowing lava creeping down north, USGS Volcanoes said.

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

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

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory urged residents and visitors to keep an eye out for ash, gas and Pele’s Hair that could be carried downwind from the volcano, McClatchy News reported.

This story was originally published Nov 28, 2022 4:02 p.m.

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Brooke (she/she) is a McClatchy real-time reporter covering LGBTQ+ news and national parks out west. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously reported on LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they’re not writing stories, they enjoy hanging out with their cats, riding horses, or spending time outdoors.