Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano creates new coastline
Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano creates new coastline
HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava flows into the ocean after covering Vacationland Kapoho Bay and most of Kapoho Beach Lots Wednesday
09 June, 2018, 06:23
Almost 600 homes on Hawaii's Big Island have been destroyed so far by the eruption at Mount Kilauea, authorities said.
Kim told reporters in Hilo on Thursday the total includes about 320 homes in the coastal community of Kapoho.
Lava filled Kapoho Bay and created land that now juts out almost a mile from the former shoreline.
County civil defense officials had a day earlier put the confirmed number of homes destroyed during the past month at 130, all of them in and around the Leilani Estates community, where lava-spouting fissures opened up on the volcano's eastern flank on May 3.
Over the course of about three days, a rolling wall of molten rock measuring half-mile across and 10- to 15-feet tall buried hundreds of homes, while vaporizing a small freshwater lake and filling in an inlet called Kapoho Bay, extending about a mile out from what had been the shoreline.
Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a memorandum of understanding furnishing millions of dollars in state disaster relief to the island.
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Geologists say the ongoing eruptions have pumped out enough lava to fill more than 45,000 Olympic-sized pools and cover Manhattan in 6 and a half feet of lava. The smoke is a result of the lava hitting the ocean water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
"Rainfall really makes a difference", Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said. "So, it's usually ohia and ferns that are the first pioneers of those new lava flows".
While the new land is owned by the state, people that have private property in the affected areas will still own their land, although it will need to be reassessed once the lava stops flowing.
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 10ft-20ft (3m-6m) of lava.
There are no homes left in the Vacationland subdivision and neighbouring Kapoho has only a few homes left standing.
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