Hundreds of homes destroyed by volcano lava in Hawaii

Sergio Conner
June 7, 2018

Mr. Marzo said that "a'ā", a type of flow involving broken lava blocks called clinkers, had covered the entirety of Kapoho Bay.

Residents of the Puna District in East Hawai'i are reeling from this latest blow, many displaced, seeking shelter with friends, relatives, and in community facilities throughout the island.

Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said it was the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit area.

A color infrared satellite image shows lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption encroaching a residential area in Kapoho Bay, Hawaii, on Monday.

A wide, slow-moving river of lava from the Kilauea volcano has claimed hundreds of additional homes in the southeastern corner of Hawaii's Big Island, officials say, marking what could be the most destructive day of the now monthlong volcanic eruption.

A steam plume first appeared around 10 a.m. Saturday as lava poured into Green Lake in Kapoho, but by 3 p.m. a Hawaii County Fire Department overflight confirmed to the US Geological Survey that the lake had filled with lava and the body of water was no more.

When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals.

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Civil defense officials said Kapoho Bay itself had been filled in with lava that extended seven-tenths of a mile from what had been the shoreline.

Kathy Emery, who evacuated from her 5-acre farm in Kapoho, said she doesn't know if she has a home to go back to.

That's a lot of lava, but flow volumes can be extraordinarily hard to measure, the USGS said.

Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, the volcano began spewing ash almost a mile into the air, sparking a 5.5 magnitude natural disaster, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"I've been crying a lot", she said.

"Therefore, we believe that the messages from the Governor and the Hawaii Tourism Authority that the volcano is in a remote location, over 100 miles from the main tourist resort areas, and that the islands are open for business, have credibility and are, to a significant extent, being heeded".

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