REUNION ISLAND, FRANCE - The Piton de la Fournaise volcano on the Reunion Island erupted on Sunday (September 11), a surprise treat for some lucky 250 locals and tourists who happened to be hiking on trails nearby.
Onlookers gazed from a cliff as molten lava reaching heights of up to 30 meters spewed from the volcano's central crater.
This was the second eruption this year for the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world along with Italy's Mount Etna and the Kilauea in Hawaii.
The location of the eruption posed no direct threat to the population though authorities have shut down certain hiking trails and nearby areas due to harmful gases and high temperatures.
While some of the tourists on the site were seeing a volcanic eruption for the first time, others were regular watchers of eruptions, such as Manuel, who moved to Reunion from mainland France ten years ago.
"To be here…There are nearly 900,000 people living in Reunion, we're a handful of 200 people who are here and it's magical," he said.
The Piton de la Fournaise has erupted over a dozen times in the past ten years, prompting thousands to flock each year to the island to admire the spectacle.