Lava has destroyed 600 homes on Hawaii's Big Island, mayor says

Lava has destroyed 600 homes on Hawaii's Big Island, mayor says

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area, but up to a dozen residents who stayed in their homes could be dead, officials said.

An ever-creeping wall of lava from Kilauea Volcano has engulfed two entire seaside housing tracts at the eastern tip of Hawaii's Big Island, government scientists reported on Wednesday, an area where civil defense officials said almost 280 homes once stood.

That latest toll of property losses from Kilauea's ongoing upheaval, which entered its 35th day on Wednesday, far surpasses the 215 structures destroyed by lava during all 35 years of the volcano's last eruption cycle, which began in 1983.

This June 6, 2018 photo from the U.S. Geological Survey shows a laze (lava haze) plume rising from the northern side of the fissure 8 lava flow margins in the former Kapoho Bay at the town of Kapoho on the island of Hawaii.

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, June 5, 2018.

The volcano in the Big Island of Hawaii, still continuous to erupt, with no signs of calming down. The eruption is one of the most destructive in US history, though amazingly no one has been killed and only one injury has been reported.

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

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Lava from the eighth fissure that opened early last month was fountaining up to 220 feet (67 meters) high.

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

It has been spewing molten lava, toxic gases, and spreading fissures since May 3.

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

Scientists working with the US Geological Survey said that lava flow in Hawaii is still active and there's no way out find out when the eruption will end.

In addition to property damage, the eruption has severed highways, knocked out power and telephone services and shut down a geothermal plant that usually provides about a quarter of the island's power.

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