By Bunmi Adigun @Bunmi_Adigun
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Videographer / director: Marc Szeglat
Producer: Bunmi Adigun, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas
Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has seen a rise in its magma chamber in recent months with its lava lake now visible to all visitors to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
Filmmaker and volcano expert Marc Szeglat noticed the change in lava flow on his most recent visit to the island.
He said: ”Normally the level is much lower. Now the lava stands just a few metres below the rim of the pit crater in Halema'uma'u.
“The inflation of magma was so high, that the probability of a lava overflow to the ground of Halema'uma'u was not small. A lot of magma streamed in the magma chamber below Kilauea and lifted the lava level in the crater.”
Lava flow from the volcano has risen so much recently that it has now formed a new route into the Pacific Ocean, the first one in over a year.
During its slow descent into the Pacific Ocean the lava solidifies and has added an estimated 500 acres of new land to the Hawaiian coast since 1983.
Despite its recent activity experts do not expect a catastrophic eruption anytime soon.
Marc said: “I think visitors of the national park must not be worried, because Kilauea is one of the best observed volcanoes on earth.
“Explosive eruptions are very rare phenomenons on volcanoes like Kilauea,” he added.
Although a full scale explosion is highly unlikely to occur at the volcano, over flowing lava lakes still poses a threat to local communities living on the island.
Marc said: “The potential for fissure eruptions and large scaled lava flows is much higher and can threaten nearby communities. In November 2014 a lava flow stopped just a few hundreds meters in front of the city Pahoa.
“In the late 80s lava flows destroyed parts of Kalapana at the coast. Residents must always be concerned that their houses will be destroyed one day.”