Toxic clouds are erupting from the Pacific Ocean as lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to slide into the tropical waves at an incredible 2,000 degrees two weeks after the initial eruption.
Vog, lava and acid rain have showered down on the tropical island since the volcano's May 3 eruption and show no sign of stopping. Already, Kilauea has reopened over 20 volcanic vents.
The laze, or toxic clouds, has flowed to the southern island coast about 15 miles west of the ocean's edge.
"Lava entering the ocean causes a chemical reaction and can result in small explosions, sending tiny particles of hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass in the air," said Geophysicist Jessica Johnson, at the University of East Anglia.
Hawaii's Civil Defense agency is warning motorists, boaters and beachgoers to beware the laze, which can be fatal if inhaled. Scientists cautioned that the plume of toxins is as corrosive and dangerous as diluted battery acid and can cause skin, eye and lung irritation.
Lt. Cmdr. John Bannon, a U.S. Coastal Guard, said: "All waterway users should be aware of the hazardous conditions associated with such an event. Getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death."
Lava has destroyed at least 44 homes and other structures in the Leilani Estates and Laipuna Gardens area of the Puna district.
"Here's nature reminding us again who's boss," said Joseph Kekedi, an orchid farmer who lives just a few kilometers from the shore.
At least 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to lava flows and toxic sulfur dioxide gas, levels of which have tripled in the last two days, according to the County of Hawaii Civil Defense.
The Hawaii National Guard has warned of more mandatory evacuations if more highways become blocked.