HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – The spectacular lava “firehose” pouring into the water at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible on Wednesday from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
The viewing area is about one-half mile from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow, scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say.
The USGS posted several photos showing the activity as seen from the viewing area; on the same day the United States Coast Guard announced it is “ramping up enforcement in response to a perceived increase in illegal charters operating in the area.” Visitors can get a closer look at the lava fire hose on board a tour boat, although the USCG identified two tour boats operating illegally out of Pohoiki Boat Ramp.
Scientists are constantly emphasizing the danger near the lava ocean entry.
“There are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs,” USGS posts in its daily eruption update. “Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean 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. In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff.”
“Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs,” USGS wrote.
Wednesday photos included a look at some of the dangers on land.