Collapse Of Hawaii Essay

Decent Essays
HONOLULU, Hawaii — A giant stream of molten hot lava is shooting out of a sea cliff on Hawaii Island. The lava is pouring into the Pacific Ocean. It is exploding as soon as it hits the water.

Molten lava is rock that is so hot is has become liquid. It can erupt out of the mouth of volcanos. It can also pour out of natural tunnels known as lava tubes.

The huge new lava flow originates from within the Kilauea volcano. It is gushing from a lava tube exiting on the southeast side of the Big Island.

The tube was exposed when a huge lava delta broke off and fell into the ocean on New Year's Eve. A lava delta is new land formed when lava cools and becomes solid. The collapse of this delta triggered huge explosions and giant waves.

Firehose Lava
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"We're always watching for what the cliff is doing. Is it moving? Are the rocks rolling down the cliff?"

Turpin said the latest flow is the biggest firehose event he has ever seen. Turpin has been viewing such events for 30 years.

Park Service Has Restricted Areas For Viewing

On land, the National Park Service is responsible for the safety of visitors along the shore. It has restricted the areas that people can enter to view the flow. However, Turpin said he frequently sees people on the cliff edge where they shouldn't be.

The cliff edge is part of a large lava bench. Lava benches are ledges of land formed from cooling lava. They sit on top of the original shoreline and can break off at any time without warning.

If people were on the edge as it broke off, they would likely lose their lives, Cindy Orlando said. Orlando is the superintendent of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Areas along the cliff are now roped off and danger signs have been posted. Even so, people are still going to parts of the cliff edge near the lava flow, Orlando said.

Park rangers have fined people who cross into off-limits areas. However, it is nearly impossible to prevent everyone from breaking the rules, Orlando
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