A time lapse of lava engulfing a Ford Mustang in Hawaii is going viral. The clip, filmed by Brandon Clement on Sunday and posted on Facebook by WZChasing on Monday, has (at the time of writing) racked up over 12 million views.
The footage shows the molten rock slide creeping towards the vehicle and crossing the road before eating it whole. The clip does not reveal what was left of the car after the lava engulfed it, but it's safe to say its odds of driving again don't look so good.
This is just one example of the havoc wrought by the eruptions of the Kilauea volcano on the southeastern side of Hawaii's Big Island, which has forced an estimated 2,000 people to evacuate Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens since starting last Thursday. More could be forced to move if the fissures continue to spread to new areas, Hawaii civic defense administrator Talmadge Magno warned residents at a community meeting, reports the Guardian.
Authorities have allowed some residents back into the evacuated zone to rescue pets and collect belongings when there have been lulls in seismic activity, but they are not allowed to stay for more than a few hours at a time.
As WZChasing explained in response to a comment questioning the car owner's motives, "[Residents have] been restricted from the area for days. Officials allowed residents only back in today for about 8 hours. It took a solid 4 hours of waiting in lines just to get in and that's if you were right there when they let people in with no advance warning. After speaking with the homeowner's family, this isn't a case of wanting insurance money."
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and has been in a constant state of eruption for the past 35 years. The eruptions occurring today began when cracks in the volcano's rift zone miles from the summit erupted on Thursday.
As well as lava-spewing fissures and toxic levels of sulfur dioxide gas, the island has been hit by hundreds of small earthquakes, including a larger one that reached 6.9 on the Richter scale on Friday.
So far, the eruptions have destroyed 35 structures (including 25 homes) and hundreds more are still at risk.
Recent reports reveal that Hawaii governor David Ige has been in touch with the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority, warning them that the state will need federal help to cope with the disaster.