Aerial Footage Shows New Lava Delta in Hawaii's Kapoho Bay

Aerial Footage Shows New Lava Delta in Hawaii's Kapoho Bay

Aerial Footage Shows New Lava Delta in Hawaii's Kapoho Bay

The number of homes and structures destroyed by lava on Hawaii's Big Island has jumped to almost 600 - making the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in modern state history, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday.

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

Mark Johnson, who was evacuated, told the AP that he thinks the lava may have missed his oceanview property, which sits on a ridge near the base of Kapoho crater.

Since the start of the eruption about 35 days ago, the volume of lava erupted so far in Puna is about 0.11 cubic kilometres in total.

Scientists are still recording vigorous volcanic activity. "The past few days have got to be one of the saddest in the long life that I've experienced", Kim said.

The AP notes that the latest activity on and around Kilauea "is among the most destructive and costly in volcano property loss in USA history".

A spokesman for Hawaii Volcano Observatory said: "Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water".

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The lava, which has covered more than 2023.47 hectares in this latest eruption, is not only expansive but very thick.

In Hawaii, previous eruptions have destroyed small towns, but nothing on the scale of this outbreak.

The eruption is in a historically active volcanic area, known as the Lower East Rift Zone, where the landscape has been built and shaped by hundreds of centuries of lava flow.

Between 1983 and 2014, a Kilauea eruption razed homes in and around the town of Kalapana. One home was lost in a separate 2014 lava flow in the commercial hub of Pahoa.

"We expect larger explosions will continue at the summit", Stovall said Wednesday.

No tsunami was generated by the quake, officials said.

"It hurts like hell", Kim said at a briefing with emergency responders at the Hawaii County Civil Defense building, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

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