Magnitude 5.5 quake strikes Kilauea summit

Hawaii volcano update

REUTERSHawaii volcano update Molten lava continues to surge into the streets

Lava flow erupted from fissure 8, photographed during HVO's early morning overflight today.

In theory, bombing a channel can slow the lava flow down and reduce the damage inflicted on cities because the deadly liquid moves fastest when contained in a channel or a lava tube, while lava that flows in a wider space is much slower and cools faster.

Lava also destroyed a freshwater lake, boiling away all of the water in it, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported late on Saturday. The strongest quake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale resulted in the volcano blowing out an ash plume that reached up to 8,000 feet, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Emergency responders have no plans to rescue anyone from the evacuated areas past the deadline, the agency said.

Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii's five volcanoes, is feared to be on the brink of another major eruption after being rattled by more than 500 earthquakes over the weekend.

Lava from Kilauea has continued to wreak havoc.

At least 117 homes have been destroyed in the four weeks since lava began flowing, said Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno.

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On Saturday, National Guard troops, police and firefighters ushered evacuees from homes on the eastern tip of the island, hours before lava cut off road access to the area, officials said.

Snyder said Kapoho Bay is nearly completely filled with lava, with the flow from fissure 8 protruding 0.7 miles into the bay. The flow prompted warnings from Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

Hundreds of homes on Hawaii's Big Island have been destroyed from lava oozing from the Kilauea volcano after an early morning explosion on Tuesday, according to officials.

Scientists say lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has covered a total for 8 square miles (20 square kilometers).

While dozens of quakes in the magnitude-2 and -3 range have occurred since the volcano began spewing ash and lava a month ago, Sunday's 5.5-magnitude natural disaster is the largest since.

"These remnant and sub-populations of wildlife may no longer persist, rapidly decline, or become further fragmented and/or contract in range", said Steve Bergfeld, the Branch Manager of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, in the release.

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