Thousands of people rush to see the molten lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
January 6, 2017Entertainment
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Thousands of people rush to see the molten lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

The lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week.

Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. Previous days drew an average of about 1,000 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. The new land may also be unstable because it’s built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand, which can easily be eroded by surf.

Hitting the waves: The 6.5 mile-long lava flow has been moving down the south flank of Kilauea since May and this week hit the Pacific Ocean

Hitting the waves: The 6.5 mile-long lava flow has been moving down the south flank of Kilauea since May and this week hit the Pacific Ocean

This is the main ocean entry of current lava flow from Mount Kilauea eruption, showing the accumulation of lava and black sand at the base of the sea cliff

This is the main ocean entry of current lava flow from Mount Kilauea eruption, showing the accumulation of lava and black sand at the base of the sea cliff

Turning to rock: The lava flow continues to stream into the ocean on the south flank from Mount Kilauea eruption, Hawaii

Kilauea has been active since 1983, but this is the first time in three years that lava has reached the ocean

Kilauea has been active since 1983, but this is the first time in three years that lava has reached the ocean

Visitors hoping to catch the picturesque views have hiked the more than 4-mile route along a gravel road to get a closer look. Signs posted at the Kalapana entrance warn visitors to bring plenty of water and ‘be ready a long hard hike.’

Derek Scott, a 16-year-old visitor from Canada, was one of those who made the journey through the county viewing area and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to catch a glimpse of the lava flow from Kilauea’s Puu Oo vent.

‘It was nice with the wind, but it was still really hot, so it was a long walk for us,’ Scott told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. ‘But it was really cool seeing the lava flow. I’ve never actually seen it that close by. The heat that radiates off the body when you’re that close to it is amazing.’

Aerial video shows Kilauea’s lava reaching the coast as it flowed down its slopes in the rugged Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on earlier this week.

The video which was taken by Paradise Helicopters show the volcano appear to form a giant smiley face as it pumps out lava into the sea.

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has erupted, however the volcano appears to be ‘smiling’ when seen from the air

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Pictures from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, also show lava reaching the ocean for first time since 2013

The pictures of what look like eyes and a smile can be seen from above the volcano’s crater. Authorities have said the lava poses no threat to any towns, but have cautioned tourists to keep their distance

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is a shield-type volcano that makes up the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, according to LiveScience.

The volcano rises 4,190 feet above sea level and is about 14 per cent of the land area of the Big Island.

The 6.5 mile-long lava flow has been dribbling down the south flank of Kilauea since May and finally reached the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday morning.

According to the USGS, the flow is about 20 meters (66 feet) wide when it finally spills over the cliff into the sea.

Sometimes Mother Nature takes your breath away – and makes you smile. Lava from the volcano, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, began erupting in late May and has been continuously moving on a six-mile journey toward the coast

For the first time since 2013, one of Kilauea’s lava flows this week reached the Pacific Ocean – producing spectacular scenes as the red-hot lava cascaded off cliffs on Hawaii’s Big Island

A photographer captured incredible footage of a Hawaiian volcano’s lava flow as it engulfed a forest

The aerial video shows Kilauea

The aerial video shows Kilauea’s lava engulfing a forest on it slopes in the rugged Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on July 9

The red-hot lava creates huge plumes of steam as it hits the water and begins cooling into rock, delighting locals and eager tourists.

The USGS warns that getting too close can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. The agency has released a pamphlet listing the risks from collapsing ledges, acid fumes, steam vents that can toss rocks and jets of hot lava — not to mention the risk of heat stroke, sprained ankles and other injuries on the hike.

Kilauea has been active since 1983, but this is the first time in three years that lava has reached the ocean.

A photographer captured incredible footage of a Hawaiian volcano

The Puu Oo vent of the active Kilauea volcano has seen recent and ongoing eruptions of lava snaking across the volcano’s south flank toward the ocean

Lava from Kilauea advanced along the flatter coastal plain, a little less than a mile from the ocean

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is a shield-type volcano that makes up the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii

The volcano rises 4,190 feet above sea level and is about 14 per cent of the land area of the Big Island

The volcano rises 4,190 feet above sea level and is about 14 per cent of the land area of the Big Island

Visitors can view the lava flow at the Kalapana Lava Viewing Area at the end of Highway 130, near the eastern edge of the national park, offering many the chance to enjoy a good look at the lava