Video: the spectacular lava river of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii

Lava fountains from the volcano reached a height of up to 190 feet.

A helicopter recorded spectacular close-up footage of Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano eruption. The world's largest active volcano erupted on Sunday after 38 years of inactivity.

The social media handle @Paradisecopters, an air route company in Hawaii, captured these images which they shared with all their followers. 

It is the first time the volcano has erupted since 1984, marking the end of the longest period of calm in the history of Mauna Loa (long mountain, in Hawaiian). Its eruption joins that of its neighboring volcano, Kilauea, which has been active for more than a year (although its lava is confined to a crater).

Lava is currently flowing down the side of the volcano at a temperature of 1,832ºF (1,000 °C), but experts say that it does not pose much of a threat to local residents.

In any case, Hawaiian authorities warned that the wind could spread volcanic gas and ash and asked residents with any breathing difficulties to take precautions to minimize exposure.