'Lava Bomb' From Hawaii Volcano Hits Boat, Injuring 23 Passengers
20 July, 2018, 22:49
Up until Monday's injuries, the Coast Guard had set a limit of 50 meters, safety permitting, for experienced lava boat operators such as Shane Turpin, captain of the boat caught in Monday's explosion caused by lava mixing with seawater.
Jones said an evening boat tour left for the ocean-entry site and it was business as usual.
The blast sparked by the gradual collapse of the volcano's crater was equivalent to a 5.3 magnitude quake and caused lava to burst from a fissure 25 miles (40 km) east, destroying at least one home in Leilani Estates, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
The ocean entry point, where the passengers were injured, is already known as a violently reactive area where water and lava are creating plumes of laze.
"Once we get the confirmation on that it will be released", she said by phone. That's because explosions occur much closer to the surface in such spots. In the 2016-2017 flow to the south, there was only about 4 cubic meters per second being erupted.
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Asked if the company had seen cancellations, she said "not really".
Officials have warned that getting too close to lava entering the ocean risks exposure to breathing in toxic fumes and even fine glass particles. The Coast Guard said tour vessels have operated in the area going back at least 20 years.
Collapse explosions at Kilauea's crater, named Halemaumau, are happening every 30 to 35 hours as Kilauea's summit subsides, like a balloon slowly losing air, and its lava reservoir drains east underground before bursting from a fissure and flowing to the ocean, according to the USGS. But the only serious injury over the past two months was to a man who was hit by flying lava that broke his leg.
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