Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hawaii volcano: Kilauea crater rocked by 5.5 magnitude natural disaster

Hawaii volcano: Kilauea crater rocked by 5.5 magnitude natural disaster

The latest eruption began early Tuesday morning and was so powerful that it spewed ash almost a mile into the air and sparked a 5.5 magnitude natural disaster, scientists say.

The smoke is a result of the lava hitting the ocean water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Kim said Kilauea, one of five volcanoes on the Big Island, formally known as the Island of Hawaii, has never destroyed so many homes before in such a short period of time.

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area with the force of a 5.4 magnitude quake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

This Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo from the U.S. Geological Survey shows a fish-eye view of a lava delta filling the former Kapoho Bay at the town of Kapoho on the island of Hawaii. Lava pouring into the ocean there has completely filled in the bay, extending almost a mile (1.6 km) out from what had been the shoreline, USGS scientists said. A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles.

More than 20 fissures are linked to this eruption, but Fissure 8 has been the most active and destructive, spewing a fountain of lava more than 200 feet in the air and feeding the flow that continues to create new land for six miles, east of the Vacationland neighborhood and the now lava-filled Kapoho Bay.

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As the fiery eruption of Kilauea continues to force evacuations on the Big Island of Hawaii, authorities are warning about other phenomena that could harm those in the area.

But the land is still highly unpredictable, and once the lava cools and hardens it will leave behind a jagged, scorched landscape with razor-sharp shards of volcanic rock.

"Rainfall really makes a difference", Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said.

The lava, which has covered more than 5,000 acres (2023.47 hectares) in this latest eruption is not only expansive, but very thick.

Vacationland had about 150 homes and Kapoho, about 350 homes.

Hawaii county Mayor Harry Kim on Thursday said the homes were destroyed in three days at Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots in Pahoa, including the Mayor's own house in Vacationland, Xinhua news agency reported.

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