The nearby Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, captured a time-lapse glimpse at Kilauea from Monday night into Tuesday morning as the light from the volcano and its almost two-dozen fissures beamed through the clouds.
While Crystal Symphony skipped Wednesday's call at Hilo, it's going ahead with a call scheduled for today at Kailua-Kona, another Big Island port that is farther from the Kilauea volcano. A USGS spokesman said the blue flames emerged after methane gas was produced from the volcano's lava burning vegetation.
"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", Jim Kauahikaua, a scientists with the US Geological Survey, told reporters Wednesday. The lava has been pouring down the flank of the volcano and into the ocean miles away.
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It knocked him backward on the third-floor porch of his neighbour's home on the eastern end of the Big Island, where most people had evacuated amid three weeks of heightened volcanic activity on Kilauea.
Authorities are urging people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean because of its hazards. Officials are concerned that "laze", a risky product produced when hot lava hits cool ocean water, will affect residents. And it has proven deadly in the past.
Leilani Estates, a neighborhood on the Big Island, is overwhelmed by a river of molten misery.
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For five days, they had taken turns hosing down homes whenever molten rocks - flung from Fissure 17 - landed on them.
"The methane gas will flow through the ground, through the cracks that are already existing, and will come up wherever there's a place for them to come up", said Wendy Stovall, a scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.
"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows, "the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said". While the family home is still above ground, a corner of the property looks like it's barely holding on from crumbling into the abyss below. "It was the worst thing I've ever seen happen to me in my life", he added.
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"I expect the home to be completely gone soon".