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Southern Hemisphere Swell Batters HVNP’s Hōlei Sea Arch

By Tiffany DeMasters
July 21, 2022, 4:58 PM HST
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The Hōlei Sea Arch on the coast of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park lost a chunk rock after last weekend’s Southern Hemishpere Swell battered Hawai‘i Island’s Southern shores.

In images released by HVNP, they compare the bottom of the arch leg from Sunday, July 17, to Monday, July 18.

“A big chunk of rock appears ready to break loose from the lower part of the leg,” HVNP stated in a social media post.

The 90-foot tall natural structure has been closed for years due to instability. Park officials warn the arch could collapse into the ocean at any time without warning.

Sea arches are a temporary part of the ever-changing volcanic landscape. Hōlei Sea Arch was formed as the Pacific Ocean pounded into an ancient lava flow about 550 years ago.

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Visitors are advised not to walk out onto Hōlei Sea Arch, but to admire it from a viewing area away from the cliff edge, near the end of Chain of Craters Road.

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For more information about sea arches, visit the park website: https://go.nps.gov/sea-arches.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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