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The Daily Volcano Quote: a great eruption of Kilauea 20 April 2009

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From Kilauea to this place the lava flows in a subterranean gallery, probably at a depth of a thousand feet, but its course can be distinctly traced all the way, by the rending of the crust of the earth into innumerable fissures, and by the emission of smoke, steam and gases … After flowing under ground several miles, perhaps six or eight, it again broke out like an overwhelming flood, and sweeping forest, hamlet, plantation, and every thing before it, rolled down with resistless energy to the sea, where, leaping a precipice of forty or fifty feet, it poured itself in one vast cataract of fire into the deep below, with loud detonations, fearful hissings, and a thousand unearthly and indescribable sounds. Imagine to yourself a river of fused minerals, of the breadth and depth of Niagara, and of a deep gory red, falling in one emblazoned sheet, one raging torrent, into the ocean! The scene, as described by eye witnesses, was terribly sublime. Two mighty agencies in collision! Two antagonist and gigantic forces in contact, and producing effects on a scale inconceivably grand!

‘Great eruption of the Volcano of Kilauea’, Western Miscellany, vol. I, no. 10 (April 1849), pp. 317-8. The eruption described is that of May 1840.

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