Explosive Big Island eruption

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

BIG ISLAND (KHNL) - Kilauea's eruption has delighted thousands over the past 25 years. And this impressive natural attraction is at it again, giving volcano viewers a spectacular and explosive show where the lava enters the ocean.

Above the roar of the volcano's elemental battle between fiery hot magma and water, explosions of gas can also be heard. At the Waikupanaha ocean entry.

Ash, dust and lava are fired into the air.

"Its extremely exciting and a rare event. There were explosions of red hot lava rock," said Jock Goodman, a Waimea resident.

The intense heat over the cool waters even creates some unusual weather features.

"The real interesting thing was the twisters, the vortex spinning off the water spouts because of the current and all the violence," said Goodman.

And the spectacular show went well into the night. Rocks and lava were shot a hundred feet in the air. From nearly a mile away, the strong explosions were watched intensely, by the hundreds who came out. The explosions at the ocean entry picked up on Friday and delighted volcano watchers all weekend long.

"It wasn't like liquid fountains of molten lava, it was an explosion. Like a dynamite explosion under red hot rock being shot into the air. It was pretty darn exciting," added Goodman.

All the lava heading into the ocean at that entry site is also kicking up a steam plume rising thousands of feet in the air. It's so big, weather satellites are picking up the plume clouds from space.