Magnitude-5.5 quake shakes summit of Kilauea

Hannah Rogers
June 6, 2018

Kahele said the devastation in the area was unprecedented.

Homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are on smaller lots and are closer together than in other parts of the Puna district.

Four weeks have passed since the first eruption rocked Hawaii's Big Island and lava continues oozing from volcanic fissures, burning homes to the ground and turning into rivers of molten rock.

Lava also destroyed a freshwater lake, boiling away all of the water in it, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported late on Saturday.

An official count of homes destroyed has yet to be released, but Snyder said that, because almost all of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland were covered, the number is expected to be in the hundreds. Officials had previously been updating the number of structures burned because it was hard to tell from aerial surveys which were homes or other buildings.

The strongest quake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale resulted in the volcano blowing out an ash plume that reached up to 8,000 feet, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

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Lava early Tuesday destroyed the mayor's second home, Snyder said.

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroyed hundreds more homes overnight, overtaking two oceanfront communities that were advised to evacuate last week, officials said Tuesday.

An estimated 500 people live in the Kapoho area, but Snyder said it was not immediately clear how many residents, if any, chose to stay behind.

On the coast as the lava reaches the ocean it is sending up a large plume of what's known as laze - formed when lava reacts with seawater to form a mix of acid fumes, steam and glass-like specks. This eruption has lasted longer than the 1955 and 1924 eruptions, the USGS said.

USGS helicopter footage from Monday showed lava from one fissure entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and completely filled it, KGMB-TV reports. "Persons in violation of this order are subject to arrest and will be liable for any costs associated with rescue operations in the mandatory evacuation area".

Most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to persistent earthquakes and eruptions of corrosive volcanic ash. He faces charges that include refusing to evacuate and reckless driving.

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