Lava from Kilauea volcano completely fills Kapoho Bay: USGS

Geraldine Edwards
June 7, 2018

"We don't have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost", says Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County, told reporters. Fissure 8 was very active overnight into Tuesday, producing large amounts of lava that destroyed homes. The crew landed and confirmed the three people had no cellphone reception.

"Harry had a premonition this was going to happen", Snyder said.

Civil defense officials said Kapoho Bay itself had been filled in with lava that extended seven-tenths of a mile (1.1 km) from what had been the shoreline.

Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities also warned about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. Any contact with laze plumes can cause serious irritation to the lungs, eyes and skin.

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Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were searching the building to see if anyone still was inside the area. The cause of the fire was not immediately known and there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The United States Geological Survey provides aerial footage of lava pouring into the Big Island's Kapoho Bay.

The latest damage came from a large lava flow that crept several miles (km) before severing a key highway junction at Kapoho on Saturday and then obliterating about a half dozen blocks of the subdivision over the weekend, the spokesman said.

Kathy Emery, who evacuated from her 5-acre farm in Kapoho, told KMGB-TV she doesn't know if she has a home to go back to.

"Right now, we don't have anything".

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She reminisced about taking her daughter to swim in the ocean for the first time in a local swimming spot known as Champagne Ponds. "I wish I could just find out if I have a house".

Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 4, 2018.

"USGS was on a routine overflight and saw people on the road in an area cut off by the lava". He faces charges that include refusing to evacuate and reckless driving.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency was putting the confirmed number of buildings lost to the current eruption at 117 on Monday, mostly residential properties. By Tuesday, the lava flow had completely engulfed the bay and surrounding neighborhoods. The western portion of Halema'uma'u has moved down and toward the center of the crater as new cracks form on the caldera floor to the west. Kīlauea's summit continues to subside due to withdrawal of magma towards the volcano's East Rift Zone.

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"It's incredibly saddening", Jason Hills, who makes a yearly visit, told the station.

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