20 Aug 2007

Lava bench in Hawaii collapses

11:01 am on 20 August 2007

Volcanologists say a large lava bench along the coastline at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park collapsed into the ocean last week.

It was possibly shaken loose by several earthquakes.

A scientist in charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Jim Kauahikaua, says an unsteady feature built by lava from Kilauea volcano flowing into the ocean, has disappeared.

Nearly 44 acres of the bench vanished, and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory suspects that an earthquake or high surf caused by Hurricane Flossie was responsible.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that no one was injured when the land made of volcanic rock collapsed.