Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes in new subdivisions

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Overnight Monday and Tuesday, A wide and fast lava flow from Kilauea volcano's fissure No. 8 wiped out hundreds of homes in Kapoho and obliterated Kapoho Bay, replacing it with a almost mile-long delta of lava rock.

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. "It's hard because obviously a lot of people have lost a lot more than just a attractive place to visit and memories". Scientists with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that no tsunami was expected from the quake.

Four people were evacuated from an isolated part of the Kapoho community Sunday, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

Lava destroyed Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland.

Lava, fed by Fissure 8 on the lower East Rift Zone, continues to fill Kapoho Bay.

Authorities began evacuating the greater Kapoho area last week and ushered most of the last remaining residents to safety early on Saturday, hours before the lava flow severed all road access to the region. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

The United States Geological Survey provides aerial footage of lava pouring into the Big Island's Kapoho Bay.

Carolyn Boudreault, a Kapoho resident who is now staying in Boston with her family, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the bay was a treasured place.

The river of lava then spread out into a towering blob about a half-mile (800 meters) wide as it crept through the flat, open landscape of the subdivisions, swallowing everything in its path over the following few days. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava flows across a highway on the outskirts of Pahoa.

"This could go on for months", she said.

Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Jessica Ferracane, a spokeswoman for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, insisted earthquakes can not be predicted, adding to the stream of fears on the island. "If lava takes it, we're covered".

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