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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Lava Viewing Area Collapses; No One Hurt

Image: Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Lava Viewing Area Collapses; No One Hurt

A delta collapse on New Year's Eve at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park resulted in a large plume of gas, ash, and steam. (Photo via NPS)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 06:46 AM

A lava delta formed by lava from a volcano collapsed at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday with the resulting waves washing away a cliff that had been used as a lava viewing area.

No one was injured when the cliff was washed away by large waves caused by the New Year’s Eve collapse, the National Park Service reported. Although the area on Hawaii Island is a popular spot for hikers and tour helicopters, none were present at the time of the late afternoon collapse on Saturday.

After the area was roped off by park officials, however, five people tried to sneak onto the platform, the Park Service said. Eruption Crew Rangers had to chase them down and get them to leave the area, and it’s a good thing they did. Fifteen minutes later, the land on which they had been standing collapsed into the ocean.

“It was a really close brush with death for them. Luckily, they finally listened to us and turned around in time,” Ranger Travis Delimont said, according to the NPS.

The area is monitored constantly and remains roped off. Rangers reported hearing cracks that indicate further geological changes. For the moment, the only way to view the lava is in a boat from a safe distance.

Lava deltas are areas of land formed by recent lava flows from an active volcano. The deltas are notoriously unstable and often collapse back onto the ocean, causing large waves and rock to surge upward.

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A lava delta formed by lava from a volcano collapsed at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday with the resulting waves washing away a cliff that had been used as a lava viewing area.
hawaii, volcanoes, national, park, collapse
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2017-46-04
Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 06:46 AM
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