Property Losses Mount on Hawaii`s Big Island as Lava Flow Spreads

Hawaii volcano update

Hawaii volcano update

A stream of lava as wide as three football fields has flowed over a highway near Kapoho, a seaside community rebuilt after a eruption of the same volcano in 1960.

Eight more people were issued citations Saturday for loitering in a disaster area as Hawaii's Big Island continues to deal with lava flow from the Kilauea volcano. The flow prompted warnings from Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

Major Jeff Hickman, of the Hawaii National Guard, measures sulfur dioxide gas levels at a lava flow near Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, June 3, 2018.

More homes have been destroyed, earthquakes are continuing and lava is now entering the ocean in Kapoho Bay.

The eruption has cut power, cell reception and county water in the area, CNN reported. On Sunday four people were rescued by airlift, according to KITV, but officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense estimated that "about twelve people" were still trapped in the area.


But the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said the fallout will affect the volcano and Pahala areas, and cautioned about the possibility of aftershocks. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Thousands in the Puna district had to evacuate after lava fissures started opening in neighbourhoods a month ago. The Civil Defense Agency has warned it could cause injury if it gets in residents' eyes or is inhaled. The lava from the Kilauea volcano has covered an area of 9 square kilometres - four times as big as New York's Central Park, according to USGS. They are often also referred to as "flammagenitus" or "fire clouds", the USGS said in the post.

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.

The month-long eruption has claimed as much as a half of a forest reserve that's home to native birds and trees that have already been declining because of disease, state officials said. "There are still people in the inundation zone that can not, there's no way for them to get out". Residents in communities downwind should take action to limit exposure to gas and ash.

The latest upheaval of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, comes on the heels of an eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued nearly nonstop for 35 years, destroying more than 200 dwellings and other structures.

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