Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano creates almost a mile of new land

09 June, 2018, 06:23 | Author: Wade Massey
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava continues to fountain from fissure No. 8 Wednesday in Leilani Estates

The eruptions began early last month and is believed to be the volcano's most destructive episode in modern history.

Kim told reporters in Hilo on Thursday the total includes about 320 homes in the coastal community of Kapoho. It also includes all homes in Vacationland.

The law was put into place due to a lawsuit between the state and residents whose home was destroyed by lava from Kilauea's 1955 eruption.

That help came Thursday after Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a memorandum of understanding that freed up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to the island.

He says it will help pay for overtime, food and equipment, noting county employees have been working an around-the-clock operation for nearly 40 days.

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 most recent eruption included new lava flows through Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland that destroyed almost 500 homes.

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As the fiery eruption of Kilauea continues to force evacuations on the Big Island of Hawaii, authorities are warning about other phenomena that could harm those in the area.

As the lava marched toward the bay, it vaporised Hawaii's largest freshwater lake in Kapoho Crater.

"Rainfall really makes a difference", Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said. "A lot of ferns will pop up first".

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. Lava entering the ocean builds a platform of new land known as a lava delta.

The lava has spread across an area of 5,000 acres and most of the area is covered in around 10 to 20 feet of lava.

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.

Kim said Vacationland, a private development believed to comprise roughly 160 homes, was completely erased, and that at least 330 houses were devoured by lava at Kapoho Beach Lots. They too are cut off and inaccessible.

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