Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Lava Claims 'Hundreds' More Homes on Hawaii's Big Island, Officials Say

Lava Claims 'Hundreds' More Homes on Hawaii's Big Island, Officials Say

People watch from a tour boat as lava flows into the Pacific Ocean in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 4, 2018.

Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said there were at least 350 homes at Kapoho Beach Lots and 140 in Vacationland.

Lava early Tuesday destroyed Big Island Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland, Snyder said.

County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots was also threatened by lava.

No injuries were reported as most residents heeded advice to leave.

When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals.

The eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has sent so much lava flowing into nearby Kapoho Bay that the area is now completely filled.

The devastating flow that cut through Kapoho can all be sourced back to fissure no. 8, which has been creating fountains of lava for 12 days straight.

"It's a necessary evil".

Plumes of white steam and hydrochloric acid fumes, a vaporous, corrosive mix formed from lava reacting with seawater as it enters the ocean, could be seen rising from a distance.

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.

"God only knows what it's going to do next", Johnson said.

Snyder said from now on, the county will provide counts of homes destroyed.

The two communities, comprising a quiet vacation spot once popular for its snorkeling and tide pools, sat at the edge of a small, shallow inlet called Kapoho Bay.

"That coastline is really important to us - a place where we spent time with our family", said Franny Brewer who lives in upper Puna.

"I've been crying a lot", she said.

Thousands of people have been displaced, and the slow-moving nature of the event has many living in a state of agonizing uncertainty.

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