Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opened new paths for those wishing to see the natural spectacle of spewing lava, but from a safe area.
Volcanoes are amongst the most dangerous natural formations. A volcanic eruption can turn into an outright catastrophe. However, such an event can also offer quite an unmatchable natural spectacle.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opened up a new area for those wishing to see such an event. The park was established in 1916. In 1980, the National Park was also designated an International Biosphere Reserve.
Situated on the island of Hawaii, it houses two active volcanoes. These are the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea. Mauna Loa is considered the most massive shield volcano in the world. Kilauea is, in its turn, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
On New Year’s Eve, in 2016, the Hawaii Volcanoes National park had to be closed for two days. The decision was made after a large lava delta collapsed on the very same day.
The lava delta was almost 26 acres big. Researchers pointed out that its collapse also led to the disappearance of other areas. More exactly, its viewing site also collapsed with it.
It also took off an area belonging to an older coastal cliff. More than 4 acres, once belonging to the coastal cliff area, are now gone.
The New Year’s Eve collapse began during the afternoon. As it lasted for several hours, it also had some other damaging effects. It created a series of such affecting waves. The collapse created a series of volcanic rock blasts, as well as dark and think gas and debris plumes.
After the event ended, researchers and park rangers took to studying the area. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists were involved.
Together with the rangers, they carried out a thorough assessment of the area. Following their study, they estimated that all the lava delta is now almost gone.
They also set up a new viewing site. This is delimited by white rope lines. Numerous signs have also been posted. These mark the clearly dangerous and hazardous areas, which are closed.
Visitors are strongly urged to follow indications. More exactly they should respect the warning signs. They should also stay away from closed off areas.
After the collapse, the viewing area changed its location. As such, it is now almost 60 feet inland as compared to the coastal cliffs.
It is also situated an estimated 900 feet away from a lava cascade. This lava cascade is pouring into the waters of the ocean.
The new viewing site is now closer to the east entrance of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Entrance to the park is opened daily. It has a 3 P.M. to 9 P.M. program.
Visitors will have to hike if they enter from the east. The Kalapana/County of Hawaii area is 4.2 miles away. Hikers will follow a one-way road. An emergency gravel access road runs alongside it.
From the west side entrance, visitors can take a 5-miles long hike to the viewing area. It will begin at the end of the Chain of Crates Road. Its starting point will be the Coastal Ranger Station. This hike will also be along a one-way road.
After about a mile in, the hike will take place over uneven, hardened lava flows. It will also turn away from the gas plumes. This park entrance is open all day long.
Those wishing to hike in the areas should come prepared. Lava rock abrasions will also require an added protection.
After dark visitors and hikers should take extra measures of precautions. They should also include additional flashlights, headlights, or batteries.
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