HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii – The first video of the new lava ocean entry is already hitting social media, thanks to the tour guides who track Hawaii’s volcanic activity.
Shane Turpin of Lava Ocean Tours, Inc. was one of the first on the scene, arriving by sea. He livestreamed the approach on Facebook and took a few photos and videos.
From land, John Tarson of Epic Lava Tours couldn’t contain his excitement in a video shared to Big Island Video News.
The official time of entry, according to the scientists of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, was 1:12 a.m. early Tuesday morning. 61g lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō reached the coastal emergency road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on July 25 at 3:20 p.m. and crossed the road in about 30 minutes.
Today the USGS added a word of warning to its daily eruption update.
“As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry,” scientists wrote, “there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.”
The last time the lava met the ocean was in August 2013.