HVO: Ground crack still visible near lava flow ocean entry

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HILO — A ground crack remains visible near the lava flow ocean entry in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, indicating that the sea cliff remains unstable.

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HILO — A ground crack remains visible near the lava flow ocean entry in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, indicating that the sea cliff remains unstable.

Janet Babb, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman, said the crack was approximately 10 to 15 meters (32 to 49 feet) behind where lava continues to pour into the sea in a steady stream referred to as a lava “fire hose.”

On Feb. 2, a large chunk of the cliff side fell into the ocean after cracks were seen.

Babb said the lava flow remains visible from public viewing areas.

Park rangers are issuing citations to people who enter the closed area.

Jessica Ferracane, park spokeswoman, said 28 citations were issued between the New Year and Feb. 2.

Babb said small explosions were occurring frequently Wednesday from lava contacting water.

Volcanic fragments known as Pele’s hair have been blanketing the nearby cliff side, hiding hazards, she said.

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Collapses of the sea cliff pose a risk to both people who are too close to the ocean entry on the ground and those on boats.

“If it were to fall in .. it could cause a lot of flying debris seaward,” Babb said.

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