<p>Rivers are drying up, popular mountain recreation spots are closing and water restrictions are in full swing as a persistent drought intensifies its grip on pockets of the American Southwest.</p>
<p>Lava from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano is exploding as it pours into the ocean, shooting rock fragments that are a danger to boaters. Inland, where molten rock is burning through jungle, methane explosions are hurling boulders while toxic gas is reaching some of the highest levels seen in recent times.</p>