Terrifying photos of Hawaii volcanic eruption show smoke and fire pouring out

A volcano has erupted on Hawaii's Big Island, lighting up the night sky with the glow of lava and flames.

The US Geological Survey confirmed the eruption of Halemaʻumaʻu on Monday evening (local time) as residents documented the natural event on social media.

It's believed the eruption began at about 9:30pm.

One man is currently standing at the edge of the volcano filming the ongoing eruption in a Facebook Live.

Thousands of users have been watching Ken Boyer's live stream in awe as he narrates the "otherwordly" event, pointing out the "glow from the lava" visible inside the crater.

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Other social media users have uploaded terrifying images showing bright red smoke and fire pouring from the mouth of the volcano.

Hawaiian residents reported feeling a minor earthquake soon after the eruption began.

The National Weather Service said periods of ash fall may be likely as a result of the eruption.

They warned that trade winds will push the ash toward the southwest, and will likely appear within the Ka’u district, on Highway 11 and southwest of the town of Volcano.

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Other communities likely to be affected include Pahala, Wood Valley, Naalehu and Ocean View.

The volcanic ash may cause breathing difficulties and irritation.

The advisory will stay in place until at least 2am local time.

The apocalyptic photos as well as the general unease induced by volcanic activity has sparked paranoia among some social media users that the eruption is a sign of the end times.

"If you're still playing 'worst year ever' bingo, whoever has 'another volcanic eruption on Hawaii Island' can cross it off your card," Twitter user Ian Scheuring said.

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It's hardly the first time Halemaʻumaʻu, a pit crater within the much larger Kīlauea Caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, has erupted.

It was the site of several eruptions throughout the 20th century, and between 2008 and 2018 it contained an active lava lake which would occasionally spill onto the crater floor.

In August 2018 the summit caldera of Halemaʻumaʻu dramatically collapsed, and a water pond appeared in the volcano for the first time a year later.

The pond has since deepened and enlarged into a small lake. The presence of this water may make Monday's eruption more intense, according to experts.

According to Hawaiian legend, Halemaʻumaʻu is the home of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes.

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