Hawaii volcano fills air with toxic acid fumes and shards of glass as lava collides with sea

Kilauea has left devastation in its wake. Credit: Paradise Helicopters

Plumes of toxic acid gas containing shards of glass are being pumped into the sky as molten rocks from a Hawaiian volcano hit sea water.

The eruption of Kilauea is causing a chemical reaction called lava haze, or 'laze', as lava and debris flow into the ocean.

The molten rocks and lava are cooled as they meet water, forming a glass that shatters.

These shards, as well as hydrochloric acid which is also formed by the reaction, poison the air as they are lifted up by steam clouds.

So far, the volcano has had catastrophic consequences, with more than 40 buildings destroyed and upwards of 2,000 people forced to vacate their homes.