While our idea of New Year’s Eve celebration is munching on scrumptious food and watching magnificent fireworks display, Hawaii has a different idea. In the Kamokuna lava delta, a 22-acre slab of land collapsed into the ocean, and five tourists almost fell together with it. Measuring about 26 acres, with most of its expanse collapsed, only a small part of the delta now stands. The tourist viewing deck has also been destroyed.
The Kamokuna lava delta was formed as a result of lava that erupted from the Kīlauea volcano. As the lava flows into the cool water, the lava hardens forming an unstable land mass. In addition, this phenomenon produces harmful hydrochloric acid. That being said, such situation cannot be considered safe.
The collapse began at around two o’clock in the afternoon, Hawaiian time, prompting the officials to halt viewing and to monitor what was happening. However, at around seven o’clock in the evening, five tourists went past the closed section to explore the cliff. Fortunately, a ranger was able to retrieve them before the part where they were standing on collapsed into the ocean.
Part of the frightening occurrence was captured on video, but the collapse continued on through the night.
Watch the video here:
Cindy Orlando, the Park’s Supervisor, said:
“Fortunately, there were no aircraft or boats reported in the area at the time of the collapse, nor were any visitors on the delta itself, which is closed for public safety.
“Had anyone been close by on land, water or air, lives would have surely been lost.”
At present, the US National Park Service has temporarily closed the 1,000-feet airspace above the Kamokuna lava delta.
Another video showing the situation in the area on January 2 was captured.
Watch it here:
Now, that is one fiery celebration for New Year’s Day!