Explosion rocks Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, sending ash 1 mile high
07 June, 2018, 11:43
"We lost hundreds of homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland overnight, but we don't have exact figures", Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County, told AFP.
Lava destroyed Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland.
County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened.
Officials had been warning residents to evacuate the area for days, as they nervously watched the lava crawl its way downhill toward the coast and the Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland neighborhoods.
By Tuesday morning, the lava had completely filled Kapoho Bay - shocking residents and frequent visitors who realized that their beloved bay was gone.
Lava fountaining at Fissure 8 continued to reach heights of 150-180 feet today, "feeding a stable channel to the east to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area", the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said today. That fissure is the origin of the lava flow that devastated Kapoho.
Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters that people needed to stay at least 1,000 feet back from the bay to avoid health effects from the laze, in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency standards.
"What used to be the bay is now all lava bed, new land, nearly a mile out into the ocean", the civil defense spokesman said.
"This could go on for months", she said.
"I'm kind of at peace, actually", Johnson said of potentially losing his home of 28 years.
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.
Lava has now covered about 7.7 square miles of the roughly 4,000 square mile island, according to the USGS.
About three dozen of those structures, mostly private homes and vacation rentals, were lost during the weekend in Kapoho. Okabe estimated there are several hundred homes in each of the two subdivisions.
"It's a handsome blue day, but it really seems eerie up there, lots and lots of ash covering areas near Jagger Museum and the earthquakes really make things seem very unsettled", she said.
Thousands of people have been displaced, and the slow-moving nature of the event has many living in a state of agonizing uncertainty.
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