Kilauea Lava Flow Rolls Into Sea at Kapoho Bay

07 June, 2018, 02:12 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

"We don't have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost", says Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County, told reporters.

Lava early Tuesday destroyed the mayor's second home, Snyder said. The USGS reported that lava had inundated most of the nearby Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland subdivisions.

The latest two communities affected by the lava flow had been ordered evacuated beforehand and there were no immediate reports of any casualties. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

Civil defense officials said Kapoho Bay itself had been filled in with lava that extended seven-tenths of a mile from what had been the shoreline. Officials had issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland were advised to leave by last Friday or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews.

The USGS shared aerial footage showing the lava from Fissure 8 forming a delta in Kapoho Bay.

Lava claimed Harry Pomerleau's home in Vacationland.

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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.

Lava flows have knocked out telephone and power lines, causing widespread communication outages, and forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

"I left a lot of things behind because I didn't want to feel as if I was abandoning my home", Rahmer said. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities also warned about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. "And I don't know what to do", she said. Miles of charred, blackened landscape are visible behind the ocean-entry point, showing the lava flow's path of destruction from the inland fissure.

No injuries were reported in the most recent flow.

Kilauea's current upheaval comes on the heels of an eruption cycle that began in 1983 and had continued almost nonstop for 35 years, destroying more than 200 homes.

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