Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean, creates toxic cloud | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean, creates toxic cloud

White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowed into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from Kilauea volcano poured into the ocean, creating yet another hazard from an eruption that began more than two weeks ago.

Authorities on Sunday warned the public to stay away from the toxic steam cloud, which is formed by a chemical reaction when lava touches seawater.

Further upslope, lava continued to gush out of large cracks in the ground that formed in residential neighborhoods in a rural part of the Big Island. The molten rock formed rivers that bisected forests and farms as it meandered toward the coast.

The rate of sulfur dioxide gas shooting from the ground fissures tripled, leading Hawaii County to repeat warnings about air quality. At the volcano's summit, two explosive eruptions unleashed clouds of ash. Winds carried much of the ash toward the southwest.

Joseph Kekedi, an orchid grower who lives and works about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from where lava dropped into the sea, said luckily the flow didn't head toward him. At one point, it was about a mile upslope from his property in the coastal community of Kapoho.

He said residents can't do much but stay informed and be ready to get out of the way.

"Here's nature reminding us again who's boss," Kekedi said.

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