Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano have created roughly a mile of new land.

US Geological Survey officials say the flow was still very active and there is no way of knowing when the eruption will end or whether more lava-spewing vents could open.

The massive lava flow from Fissure 8 was spotted entering the ocean beyond what was once Kapoho Bay by a satellite on June 7.

Tensions have been running high over looting fears in Leilani Estates, where lava has been flowing since early May on Hawaii's Big Island.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed since the volcano began erupting a month ago and shelters are starting to reach capacity. A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles.

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.

Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said. The new land in Kapoho Bay is now owned by the state, but the peninsula won't look like the farmland that dominates that region of the Big Island anytime soon.

But the land is still highly unpredictable, and once the lava cools and hardens it will leave behind a jagged, scorched landscape with razor-sharp shards of volcanic rock.

For example, one small ohia tree was observed by a National Park Service employee last week during a tour of a two-year-old inactive flow.

Lava continues shooting out of the ground, as high as 150-feet in the air, then travels all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The Big Island, also known as the island of Hawaii, is about 200 miles southeast of Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu is located.

There are no homes left in the Vacationland subdivision and neighboring Kapoho has only a few homes left standing.


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