Hawaii lava destroys more than 600 homes

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava flows into the ocean after covering Vacationland Kapoho Bay and most of Kapoho Beach Lots Wednesday

HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava flows into the ocean after covering Vacationland Kapoho Bay and most of Kapoho Beach Lots Wednesday

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano have created roughly a mile of new land.

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey say they don't know when the volcanic activity will stop.

According to Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, lava has destroyed more than 600 homes since early last month.

The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued almost nonstop over three decades.

Most of the Kapoho area including the tide pools is now covered in fresh lava with few properties still intact as the Kilauea Volcano lower east rift zone eruption continues on Wednesday in Pahoa.

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

David Ige signed a memo to free up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to pay for police, fire, public works and civil defense personnel.

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

As the lava marched toward the bay, it vaporised Hawaii's largest freshwater lake in Kapoho Crater.

Around three dozen private homes and vacation rentals in Kapoho were destroyed by the lava after relentless lava engulfed the town.

The rest of the losses have occurred in the Leilani Estates area, where the toll of destruction has been steadily rising by the day.

Kim told reporters in Hilo on Thursday the total includes about 320 homes in the coastal community of Kapoho. "Don't forget the farmers, don't forget the ranchers, don't forget all the employees for them".

It has also forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

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