Streams of lava pouring into the ocean from the Big Island have been captured in a rare video that's drawing attention from around the globe.
The Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously from its Pu'u'O'o vent since 1983, according to Reuters, but the lava flow usually doesn't make the seven-mile journey into the ocean.
Lava first started flowing into the ocean on November 25. You can track the lava's flow on the National Parks Service website.
And officials are cautioning curious tourists to keep their distance. See a slideshow of the lava flow.
"Ocean entries can be quite beautiful but also quite dangerous," Janet Babb, spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told Reuters.
Babb said chunks of lava and hot water created from the lava-to-ocean impact can hurt people standing as far as 100 yards away.
"The molten lava meeting the ocean creates steam which may look innocuous, but can be quite hazardous," she said. "It's acidic and contains tiny particles of volcanic glass. And waves crashing with the lava can send out scalding water."
Even without the unusual spectacle, Hawaii's volcanoes are already a major tourist draw, with 1. 3 million people visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last year alone.
Barry Periatt, a plans and operations officer for Hawaii County's Civil Defense Agency, said none of Honolulu's communities on the island of Oahu are in any danger from the lava flow. But on the Big Island, the nearby Kalapana Gardens sustained major lava damage from a 1986 eruption and from another in 1990. Most recently, one home in the community was engulfed in lava from a 2010 eruption.
- Nature & Environment
- lava flow