Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys hundreds more homes

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, the volcano began spewing ash almost a mile into the air, sparking a 5.5 magnitude natural disaster, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that no tsunami was expected from the quake. Mesmerizing video captured by a US Geological Survey helicopter shows the shallow bay rapidly filling in with cooling lava. He told reporters on Monday that temblors are almost continuous at the summit and that gas emissions remain "very high".

Vigorous eruption of lava from Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone also was reported, including lava fountaining at Fissure 8 between 130 feet and 160 feet.

On Sunday, the flow crept toward Kapoho Bay, a roughly 1,000-foot-wide ocean retreat.

Governor David Ige signed a second supplemental emergency proclamation on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) that gives the county more options for shelters and sets criminal penalties for violating emergency rules, such as failing to evacuate and interfering with emergency workers. "And you don't want to be breathing that".

About 7.7 square miles are covered by lava, which is about 0.2% of Hawaii Island, according to the USGS.

All but a few of the estimated 500 inhabitants of Kapoho and adjacent Vacationland development are now believed to have fled their homes, an agency spokesman said.

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So far, it was unclear how many homes have been affected, but Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said it was fair to say it was hundreds.

"Over the course of essentially two days, that entire area was covered by lava", Dr Stovall said.

Luckily, people living close to the natural disaster have been evacuated.

There have been various arrests of people forcing their way through blocked areas. They stopped to inquire of their situation, and then when asked, airlifted them to a safe place. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

They anxious their house would be spared by the lava but rendered inaccessible, leaving them stuck with the mortgage for an abandoned home and a fire insurance policy that was of no value, she told Reuters.

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