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The largest volcano in the world erupts

The largest volcano in the world erupts

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

The lava flow is largely contained, but residents have been put on alert and have been warned in advance of the risk of ash fall.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has said the situation could change rapidly.

No evacuation orders have been issued and populated areas are unlikely to be affected at this stage, emergency officials say.

Mauna Loa, located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, covers half of the US state's big island. The volcano rises 13,679ft (4,169m) above sea level and covers an area of ??more than 2,000 square miles.

It erupted at 23:30 local time on Sunday (09:30 GMT on Monday).

It followed a series of warnings that an eruption was possible after a series of earthquakes in the region.