Fire, steam, fascination as Hawaii lava rolls on

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The latest video from the U.S. Geological Survey shows fountains of lava at Fissure 20 of the Kilauea eruptions. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Cracks in the ground spit out streams of lava that are snaking through Hawaii's Big Island, devouring homes and forests, chugging across a highway and pouring into the sea.

The dangers are stacking up, and the residents dealing with a more than two-week-long eruption from the Kilauea volcano are weary.

They have watched molten rock ooze, crackle, spatter and shoot from the Earth in their rural neighborhoods. They have seen ash fall from the volcano's exploding summit and donned masks to protect their lungs.

Noxious gas is always present, and now they are facing their newest risk: a lava haze that's formed off the coast as the fiery rivers gush into the ocean.

RELATED: What is laze?

The interaction sends up massive clouds of acid and fine shards of glass that can lead to skin and eye irritation and even lung damage.

Scientists don't know when Kilauea will stop its destructive but mesmerizing march across the Hawaiian island, saying it's not clear if it's just beginning or near the end of the eruption.
The U.S. Geological Survey has released more video of the Kilauea eruptions, this time showing fountains of lava at Fissure 20.

The video was taken around 3:45 p.m. local time on May 19. The USGS also released video of the same fissure spattering about 12 hours earlier.

PHOTOS: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption, fissures and lava


The eruptions so far have caused one injury when a man was hit in the leg by a flying piece of lava. The volcanic activity, which has been going on for more than two weeks, has burned around 40 structures, including two dozen homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
weathervolcanou.s. & worldHawaii



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