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Published on February 4th, 2017 | by Claude Saravia

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Watch Lava Stream From Erupted Kilauea Volcano Exploding Into Ocean in Hawaii

Massive amounts of molten lava halted visibly shooting out of a sea cliff in Hawaii Island Thursday when the Kamokuna seacliff collapsed. Kilauea Volcano had been splashing lava into the Pacific Ocean which exploded upon impact since New Years Eve when 21 acres of lava delta collapsed into the ocean.

Lava Delta is a rocky cliff created by cooling lava which stacks up on the ocean. While this initially occurred, the delta collapsed unexpectedly on New Years Eve. Authorities with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say a team of experts were assessing an area near the ocean cliff at the lava entry point when a massive chunk of the ocean-side cliff collapsed.

The collapse stopped the heavy stream of lava that had been arching out since that event. The lava stream, dubbed a “firehose” flow because it shoots lava outward from the source like water from a hose, had recently increased in intensity.

When the molten lava was hitting the cool seawater, it reacted violently, causing explosions that threw large chunks of hot rock and debris inland, where hikers and tour boat operators were catching amazing views of nature at work, according to the AP.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recapped the event:

“Yesterday afternoon,” the USGS wrote, “HVO scientists revisited the hot crack about 5-10 m (16-33 ft) inland and east of the Kamokuna ocean entry at noon and found that it was wider and steaming; the lava ‘firehose’ was not visible although lava appeared to be entering the ocean. At about 12:55 p.m., a 30 m by 5 m (98 ft by 16 ft) portion of the block seaward of the crack fell into the ocean generating a noticeable, but not unusually large, wave propagating outward from the rockfall location. The crack was additionally widened by the collapse and was 100 cm (3.3 ft) wide after the collapse, an increase of 25 cm (10 in) in the past day Around 4 pm, another collapse occurred but we have not verified yet what remains of the seaward block.”

The National Park Service has set up a designated viewing area far from the flow where visitors can safely view the lava; however, the gasses released from the reaction are dangerous to breathe in, and shards of volcanic glass are in the air in certain areas. Many tourists have put themselves into danger in hopes of catching amazing videos and photos.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Shane Turpin/Lava Ocean Tours via Associated Press

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