Explosion rocks Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, sending ash 1 mile high

07 June, 2018, 05:06 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

PAHOA, Hawaii-A river of lava spewing from the foot of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano swallowed about three dozen more homes on the Big Island during a weekend of destruction that brought to almost 120 the number of dwellings devoured since last month, officials said on Monday.

"We don't have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland last night", said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County. No injuries were reported in the area because it was evacuated.

Plumes of white steam and hydrochloric acid fumes, a vaporous, corrosive mix formed from lava reacting with seawater as it enters the ocean, could be seen rising from a distance.

Lava from Kilauea has covered an area of almost 5,000 acres, according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This combines a toxic steam, known as laze - combining the words lava and haze - and contains tiny particles of volcanic gas.

There was some confusion on Tuesday concerning Big Island Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland.


They anxious their house would be spared by the lava but rendered inaccessible, leaving them stuck with the mortgage for an abandoned home and a fire insurance policy that was of no value, she told Reuters. "It's hard because obviously a lot of people have lost a lot more than just a lovely place to visit and memories". The area is primarily home to vacation rentals, but there are a lot of permanent residences there too.

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. "I wish I could just find out if I have a house".

The latest damage came from a large lava flow that crept several miles before severing a key highway junction at Kapoho on Saturday and then obliterating about a half-dozen blocks of the subdivision over the weekend, the spokesman said. Police said a 55-year-old man was arrested last week after he circumvented a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into a hardened lava flow.

Since May 4, some 9,900 quakes have rattled Hawaii Island, the USGS said.

The eruption has also been triggering earthquakes, including a 5.5-magnitude tremor early Tuesday morning at Kilauea's summit.

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