The Kilauea volcano has been active for many years, and it has become a touristic attraction for many people who choose Hawaii as a vacation destination.
But it seems that the lava flow has become a reason for concern lately. Authorities have taken active measures to prevent tourists and residents from getting hurt while the lava flow is threatening Pahoa and the Puna District.
According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the lava flow has advanced to the Southeast without a stop over the past one and half months. Fortunately, the flow has not become wide enough to threaten the environment or the residents, and it is made of pahoehoe lava, which is the volcano typical pattern.
Scientists observed the 61g flow on June 23rd when it reached the top of a cliff situated above the upper boundary of the abandoned Royal Garden and the coastal plain. It is worth mentioning that Royal Gardens subdivision is more than 90 percent covered by previous lava flows.
As it advanced across the coastal plain, the flow was narrowed by the high ground around it, created by past lava flows. Experts were worried because the 61g flow was quite fast moving across the coastal plain with 600 meters per day, which they considered to be a more rapid rate compared with previous Kilauea flows.
On July 7th, scientists calculated that the flow was at a 1.2 km distance from the ocean. Also, it was still advancing with a constant speed. Experts accounted for three possibilities as the lava flow could either stop or if it slowed down, it would probably spread across the coastal plain affecting the environment.
The third option might be that the flow speed remains constant driving the lava into the ocean for the first time since August 2013. Authorities warn people that the risks are still high because the flow is much more accessible now, as it already drawn many tourists who were eager to see the dangerous live show.
Other people decided to take hiking trips around the lava flow but accompanied by well-trained guides. Still, such a recreational activity is highly dangerous, and it is clearly not recommended during this period because tourists are more exposed to fumes, burns, molten lava, stroke risks, heat exhaustion, dehydration, uneven terrain, and rough falls.
Kilauea can take down even the most experienced hikers equipped with a lot of water, sun protection, gloves, long pants, and sturdy hiking boots.
Image Source:Antiquity Now