Kilauea Lava Flow Reaches Ocean

The lava flowing from Kilauea fissures near Leilani Estates, Hawaii, reached the ocean by Sunday, May 20. Lava from fissure 20 reached the ocean at 11 pm on Saturday, a news report said.

Parts of Highway 137 also were shut down at about 10:30 pm on Saturday as the lava crossed the road on its way to the ocean. The closure could affect thousands of people trying to get in or out of the lava-affected areas.

Since Kilauea’s lower east rift zone started erupting earlier this month, more than 20 fissures have formed and at least 44 buildings in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have been destroyed.

The US Geographical Survey said its scientists took this video at about 2:30 am on May 20 during observations of the lava flows as they descended downhill and into the ocean. The flow in the video is nine feet high, and the scientist is standing about 50 feet away. Credit: USGS via Storyful