Kilauea Volcano Still Erupting; More Than 600 Homes Destroyed

Steam plumes rise as lava enters the Pacific Ocean after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure on Hawaii's Big Island

"We've pretty much thrown everything at this event" since a series of lava fissures began emerging from cracks in neighborhood last month, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency Administrator Talmadge Magno said Monday.

The Kilauea volcano erupted 36 days ago, and with it came massive ash clouds, earthquakes, mountains of lava and hundreds of evacuations on Hawaii's big Island.

The lava is also flowing into the ocean, where it has created about 200 acres of new land, while also releasing risky gas plumes and causing explosions as the molten rock hits the cold water.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the explosion was equivalent to a magnitude of 5.4 and sent plumes of ash into the air.

"This is the hottest lava we've seen during this eruption", Wendy Stovall, a scientist with USGS, on Hawaii News Now said.

At Kilauea's summit, there continue to be explosions that shoot plumes of ash into the sky. This activity continues to feed the fast-moving channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho.




It's possible a new fissure will open or vigorous flows could emerge from vents that have been inactive.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze - a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass.

A spokesperson for Hawaii County Civil Defence said: "What used to be the bay is now all lava bed, new land, nearly a mile out into the ocean".

The other half of the residents in a more vulnerable area are allowed back during the day if conditions are safe.

To date, lava has destroyed more than 600 homes and forced close to 400 people into emergency shelters.

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