Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano creates new coastline

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano creates new coastline

Kilauea began erupting lava in a residential community on May 3.

The eruption is one of the most destructive in USA history, though amazingly no one has been killed and only one injury has been reported.

Approximately 600 homes have been destroyed by lava flows on Hawaii's Big Island since the current eruption of Kilaeua Volcano began early last month, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said on Thursday.

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano that flowed into Kapoho Bay has created almost a mile of new land, officials from the US Geological Survey have said.

A similar, extremely violent eruption from Fuego volcano in Guatemala this week killed more than 100 people as it ejected deadly super-heated "pyroclastic" flows of lava and ash through nearby towns.

The fast-moving lava poured into the low-laying coastal Hawaii neighborhoods in just two days this week, destroying hundreds of homes.

"A lot of the ocean entries are extraordinarily unstable", Ms Ferracane said.

HVO said the lava delta is 1.2 miles wide and added that "ocean entry is sending a large laze plume into the air along the coastline".

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As the lava marched toward the bay, it vaporised Hawaii's largest freshwater lake, which was hundreds of feet deep in some places.

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

There are no homes left in the Vacationland subdivision and neighbouring Kapoho has only a few homes left standing.

"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. "I'm talking about 600 families".

So too have airborne volcanic glass fibres, called "Peel's Hair", wispy strands carried aloft by the wind from lava fountains and named for the volcanic goddess of Hawaiian myth.

Four lava flows have reached the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Thousands of residents have been left shell-shocked by the devastation that's been pounding the island.

In addition to destroying homes and other structures, lava flows have knocked out telephone and power lines, causing widespread communication outages, and forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

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