Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Hawaii lava flow fills Kapoho Bay

Hawaii lava flow fills Kapoho Bay

Lava from a fissure near the volcano entered Kapoho Bay late Sunday or early Monday, forcing billowing clouds of steam into the atmosphere as hot lava hit the cool water of the Pacific Ocean.

This stunning video from The US Geological Survey captures all the insanity of molten lava pouring into the ocean after the eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island a month ago. County Managing Director Wil Okabe says his vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened. The area is primarily home to vacation rentals, but there are a lot of permanent residences there too.

So far, it was unclear how many homes have been affected, but Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said it was fair to say it was hundreds.

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One shelter was full on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), officials said.

"Anything above 6.9 [magnitude] is our threshold", she said, noting that it would warn people to stay clear of the ocean in such an event.

"The difference between our June 3rd and June 5th images are dramatic, with lava completely filling Kapoho Bay by yesterday afternoon", a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. "It belongs to Pele", he said, referring to the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

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Resident Mark Johnson is hopeful that his home on a citrus farm is one of those still standing. "So I'm real sad". "I've had 28 years of wonderful experience down there in Kapoho". The flow prompted warnings from Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava surrounds a home on the outskirts of Pahoa. But it's unclear how long it would take to re-open access to the area, he said. Officials had issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland to leave by last Friday or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews. Okabe estimated there are several hundred homes in each of the two subdivisions.

The two communities, comprising a quiet vacation spot once popular for its snorkeling and tide pools, sat at the edge of a small, shallow inlet called Kapoho Bay. She said it would be some time before precise losses were confirmed. Most of those homes are believed to have been lost.

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Kilauea, standing at 4,091 ft (1,247 metres) tall, has now been erupting for 34 days in a row, the longest since 1955. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the explosion was associated with a Magnitude 5.5 natural disaster .

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