Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes overnight

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| 06 June, 2018, 02:33

Thousands in the Puna district had to evacuate after lava fissures started opening in neighborhoods a month ago.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed by lava in one night in a mostly rural area of the Big Island of Hawaii, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder says that as of Monday, lava burned down 117 homes.

Lava early Tuesday claimed Big Island Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland, Snyder said.

Kilauea's current upheaval comes on the heels of an eruption cycle that began in 1983 and had continued almost nonstop for 35 years, destroying more than 200 homes.

"There's a lot of destruction", Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, told CBS affiliate KGMB-TV. "Vacationland is nearly totally destroyed". Over the weekend, the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported more than 500 earthquakes in a 24-hour period - the most ever measured by HVO scientists.

County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened.


The destruction compounded a magnitude-5.5 quake that rattled parts of the island.

The Article from Latest satellite views of Hawaii's volcano outburst. In addition, most of Vacationland and all but the northern edge of Kapoho Beach Lots have been inundated with lava. Officials had issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland to leave by Friday afternoon or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews.

At the same time, most of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of the island's biggest tourist attractions, remains closed indefinitely due to hazards from ash and volcanic rock ejected from the summit crater, and accompanying earthquakes that have damaged park facilities.

"Unlike lava, which you can see coming and avoid, we cannot see or predict earthquakes, nor can we foresee a summit explosion, but both threats continue", park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said.

In the second video, taken about seven hours later (around 1:38 p.m.), lava had almost filled the shallow bay and was close to covering Champagne Ponds (right side of the screen, toward the end of the video) in the north part of Kapoho Bay. Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean, reacts with sea water and sends hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles in the air.

In the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve, higher up on the slopes of Kilauea, staff involved in the recovery of the endangered Hawaiian crow, the 'alala, closely monitored birds released in the area.

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