BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Nature offered a true New Year’s Eve show in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park when a delta made up entirely of dry lava crashed into the ocean.
The flow of lava was caused by the eruption of Kilauea volcano – the most active of the five volcanoes present in Hawaii Islands. It represents the main center of the Hawaiian eruptive chain and it is only the second youngest of all (between 300,000 and 600,000 years old). Its intense activity is also proven by its name, which can be translated from Hawaiian as “spewing” or “spreading”. Before it made this end-of-year spectacle, its latest eruption threatened the town of Pahoa.
This volcano is also important because it influences the ecosystem around it. Since it is so active the flora is affected and its growth is diminished. The gases produced during eruptions even caused acid rains in the area. The volcano is also given a high importance by Hawaiian mythology. Kilauea, along with the other four Hawaiian volcanoes, is sacred and its Halemaumau Crater is believed to be the home of the goddess of fire and lightning.
The impressive delta was created by the flow of the lava into the sea. The fall of the formation was followed by loud noises, piles of ash, high amounts of water flooding the shore and the closing of Kamokuna ocean entry, which was usually open for public.
Due to the exhaustion of fumes air travel was restricted for a limited period of time, but only for aircrafts flying under 305 meters (1,000 feet).
Cindy Orlando, the Park Superintendent, reported that there were no casualties caused by the incident, but only due to the fact that there was no sign of ships or planes around when the lava delta crashed. Had there been any people close to the area, the situation would have been way worse.
Although the area around the delta was closed, a group of five tourists decided to take some risks and get closer to the place in order to get a better view of the so-called wonder. They went there only a few hours after the incident and they were close to being victims of an accident since 15 minutes later after the park rangers escorted them away the cliff fell into the sea.
The volcano offered a truly exquisite display of the forces of nature which perfectly matched the time of the year and the show stayed beautiful until the end since no one was harmed during the events.
Image Source: Wikipedia