Lava has destroyed 600 homes on Hawaii's Big Island, mayor says

Lester Mason
June 12, 2018

Kilauea volcano has been erupting almost continuously for about five weeks. The tropical countryside with lush greenery and pristine neighborhoods have all been engulfed with clouds of volcanic ashes, hurdles of lava and molten rocks ever since the latest eruptions on May 3rd.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory reports that lava "continues unabated" from Fissure 8, near the most populous area, with fountains of lava shooting as high as 200 feet in the air.

Hawaii county Mayor Harry Kim on Thursday said the homes were destroyed in three days at Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots in Pahoa, including the Mayor's own house in Vacationland, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also present at the press conference, Hawaii Governor David Ige said state will allocate 12 million US dollars to help respond to the eruption, covering expenses ranging from overtime work to food and equipment. That's on top of the losses at Leilani Estates, one of the first areas to feel the destructive power of Kilauea.

European Space Agency
European Space Agency

It's still unclear how many homes in those two beach lots have been affected as authorities are looking to assess the damage, Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said Wednesday. "Don't forget the farmers, don't forget the ranchers, don't forget all the employees for them".

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey say they don't know when the volcanic activity will stop. Scientists said that while the height of the lava is variable depending on the source and local topography, much of the area is covered in 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) of lava. While the delta margin nearest the ocean has cooled somewhat, the lava flow front is still very hot and producing laze (lava haze).

Frequent earthquakes, mostly of relatively small magnitude but numbering in the thousands, have persisted throughout the eruption, adding to the jitters of residents living closest to the volcano.

It has forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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