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Toxic acid cloud over Hawaii after lava hits ocean

Toxic acid cloud over Hawaii after lava hits ocean

The U.S. Geological Survey says laze contributed to two deaths in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows.

People take photos on a tour boat as steam plumes rise while lava enters the Pacific Ocean, after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure, on Hawaii's Big Island on May 20, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii.

A spokesperson from the Hawaii County mayor's said that lava spatter "can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill."

The agency highlighted a lava flow that crossed Highway 137 and entered the ocean, producing the toxic steam. More than 20 fissures have opened up since early May.Mario Tama/Getty ImagesLAVA AND HAZEWhen lava pours into the ocean, it produces "laze", a risky mixture of hydrochloric acid, steam, and glass particles.Mario Tama/Getty ImagesPICTURE ITA woman photographs a steam plume near Pahoa, east of Kilauea.Mario Tama/Getty ImagesSMOKE ON THE WATERSteam rises above the Pacific on May 20, 2018. "For mariners without prior limited entry approval, the safety zone encompasses all waters extending [1,000 feet] in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean", said Lt. Cmdr.

"Like typical eruptions and lava flows, it's really allowing Madam Pele to run its course", he said, referring to the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire. On top of the laze, sulfur dioxide emissions have tripped due to the increased eruptions and fissure leaks.

Lava flows have sped up as fresher magma mixes with decades-old magma, creating hotter and more fluid flows, scientists said. At one point, it was about a mile upslope from his property in the coastal community of Kapoho.

Steam plumes rise as lava enters the Pacific Ocean after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure on Hawaii's Big Island
Mario Tama Getty Images

"Here's nature reminding us again who's boss", Mr Kekedi said. It's also created anxiety for thousands of others about the possibility of lava heading their way or cutting off roads they depend on to get to work, school and grocery stores.

Kekedi said most of his neighbors are optimistic.

It's still unclear when the volcano will calm down, but hopefully the first injury as a result of the eruption will also be the last. It has been gushing lava high into the sky and sending a river of molten rock toward the ocean at about 300 yards (274 meters) per hour. Lava emerging from the vents has destroyed dozens of homes.

The new lava is hotter, moves faster and has spread over a wider area.

The area affected by lava and ash is small compared with the Big Island, which is about 10,360 square kilometres.

Volcanic gasses are blazing from the Kilauea volcano at fissure 13 on Hawaii's Big Island. Tourism officials maintain that most of Big Island is still safe to visit and remains unaffected by the explosion. There, travelers are free to do most of the usual sightseeing activities that aren't associated with the erupting volcano.

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