An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude natural disaster and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.
Lava erupts in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.
"Lava continues to enter the ocean along a broad front in Kapoho Bay and the Vacationland area and it continues to creep north of what remains of Kapoho Beach Lots", said USGS geologist Janet Babb. The lake was hundreds of feet deep in some places.
According to Kim, lava destroyed close to 500 homes in three days at Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots in Pahoa, including the mayor's own house in Vacationland. "Don't forget the farmers, don't forget the ranchers, don't forget all the employees for them". 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.
Plumes of volcanic ash belched into the air by periodic daily explosions from the crater at Kilauea's summit have posed an additional nuisance and health hazard to nearby communities.
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.
Seaside residents and boaters also have been warned to avoid noxious clouds of laze - a term derived from the words "lava" and "haze" - formed when lava reacts with seawater to form a mix of acid fumes, steam and glass-like particles when it flows into the ocean.
In addition to property damage, the eruption has severed highways, knocked out power and telephone services and shut down a geothermal plant that usually provides about a quarter of the island's power.
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