Hawaii Volcano Lava Destroys Hundreds of Homes Overnight

07 June, 2018, 11:41 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

New aerial photos from Hawaii's Big Island show homes and neighborhoods being engulfed by the river of lava flowing from Hawaii's Mount Kilauea.

That was the message Wednesday morning from Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for Mayor Harry Kim.

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

Authorities began evacuating the Kapoho area last week, with most residents ushered to safety by early Saturday, just hours before lava severed all road access to the region. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences. Lava pouring into the ocean there has completely filled in the bay, extending almost a mile (1.6 km) out from what had been the shoreline, USGS scientists said.

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Officials with the US Geological Survey said today that the entire neighbourhood of Vacationland, on the Big Island of Hawaii, has been covered by lava, and the nearby Kapoho subdivision has only a few structures remaining. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava threatens homes in the Kapoho area.

"I left a lot of things behind because I didn't want to feel as if I was abandoning my home", Rahmer said. He said that number was sure to grow because there were many more damaged homes to count.

Thousands of people have been displaced, and the slow-moving nature of the event has many living in a state of agonizing uncertainty.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has issued an evacuation order for residents in the area, as the acidic fumes can prove fatal if inhaled.

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Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 700 C. The stratovolcano - a volcano built from layers of ash and lava - "has erupted on and off for centuries", according to the U.S.

A magnitude 5.6 natural disaster struck the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano summit, sending a plume of ash and rock about 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) into the sky Wednesday.

"This could go on for months", she said.

Kirk Rahmer became one of dozens of people who lost their homes over the weekend, when he saw that his home of 18 years had been claimed by lava.

She reminisced about taking her daughter to swim in the ocean for the first time in a local swimming spot known as Champagne Ponds.

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