Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

New Coastline Emerges as Kilauea Pumps Lava to the Sea

New Coastline Emerges as Kilauea Pumps Lava to the Sea

Following the continuous eruptions at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, a massive flow of lava wiped out the neighborhood and filled the Kapoho Bay on Tuesday, 5th June.

About 600 homes have been destroyed by the multiple lava flows that were produced during this lower East Rift Zone eruption, in the Leilani Estates during the early days of the eruption and lately in Kapoho and Vacationaland.

As of early Friday 24 separate fissures covered almost 8 square miles of land in lava.

The fast-moving lava poured into the low-lying coastal Hawaii neighbourhoods in just two days this week, destroying hundreds of homes. The total number of homes destroyed in the eruption stands at about 400.

Scientists are still recording vigorous volcanic activity in the area and say there's no way to know when it will end.

The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued almost nonstop over three decades.

Hawaii Civil Defense reported the latest eruption caused a thick ash plume to rise 3000m above sea level.

A spokesman for Hawaii Volcano Observatory said: "Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water".

"How soon vegetation comes back on a lava flow really depends on the type of lava it is, and how much rainfall there is in the area", said Babb. One home was lost in a separate 2014 lava flow in the commercial hub of Pahoa.

A handful of residents who initially stayed behind rather than heed the evacuation order were airlifted by helicopter on Sunday, officials said.

"We expect larger explosions will continue at the summit", Stovall said Wednesday.

Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii's five volcanoes, is feared to be on the brink of another major eruption after being rattled by more than 500 earthquakes over the weekend.

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