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The fire meets the water: lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano reaches Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)

The fire meets the water: lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano reaches Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)Dangerous lava flowing from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park began leaking into the Pacific Ocean on Hawaii’s Big Island Tuesday morning. The flow stemming from a May 24 eruption marks the first time lava has reached the ocean along the island's southeastern coastline since August 2013.

The natural event created a startling sight as red-hot lava dropped from soaring cliffs into the ocean, sending smoke and steam billowing into the air. It's unclear how long the lava flow will last. The last lava flow to enter the ocean continued off and on from 2011 until 2013.

The lava transforms into hard, solid rock upon contact with the water and can send debris flying though the area.

Authorities have said the lava poses no threat to any towns, but have cautioned tourists to keep their distance.

Despite the warning, people could be seen near the flow, taking pictures and watching the spectacle. The pictures from the crater of the volcano show some kind of the smiling face inside lava.

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