Over 600 homes destroyed by lava rivers in Hawaii

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2018

Since May 3rd, Kilauea's lava, ash and rocks have destroyed about 600 homes, closed major highways and prompted health warnings. The lava filled Kapoho Bay within two hours after the eruption began and formed a delta extending almost a mile from shore as it cools, according to the USGS.

The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during more than 30 years of an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983.

Kim, who lost his own home to the devastating magma march that began in May, has been pushing for more funding to help thousands of displaced residents.

European Space Agency
European Space Agency

"Lava continues to enter the ocean along a broad front in Kapoho Bay and the Vacationland area and it continues to creep north of what remains of Kapoho Beach Lots", USGS geologist Janet Babb told Associated Press.

Lava erupts in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.


The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said.

Depending on climate, rainfall and other variables, new vegetation could start growing soon, but it would take much longer for the fertile land and lush rainforests to build back up.

A small ohia tree was observed by a National Park Service employee during of a tour of a two-year-old inactive flow in Kalapana last week.


The Big Island, also known as the island of Hawaii, is about 200 miles southeast of Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu is located.

HVO said the lava delta is 1.2 miles wide and added that "ocean entry is sending a large laze plume into the air along the coastline".

There are no homes left in the Vacationland subdivision and neighboring Kapoho has only a few homes left standing.


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