Entire Hawaii neighborhood covered by lava

Larry Hoffman
June 7, 2018

Lava from the volcano has reportedly flowed downhill and into the largest body of water on the island, Green Lake.

No injuries were reported in the most recent flow.

The latest estimates - up to 80 more structures than previously counted as destroyed by lava smothering two newly evacuated subdivisions - could bring the total number of homes and other buildings lost over the past month to almost 200.

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

Of the 500 or so homes in the Kapoho area, only a handful remain.

"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.

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.

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

About three dozen of those structures, mostly private homes and vacation rentals, were lost during the weekend in Kapoho.

One shelter was full on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), officials said. To the north, lava has covered all but a small portion of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Resident Mark Johnson is hopeful that his home on a citrus farm is one of those still standing. "I feel that I've had a really great experience". A mandatory evacuation of much the subdivision was imposed last week.

On Sunday, the flow crept toward Kapoho Bay, a roughly 1,000-foot-wide ocean retreat.

Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Less than two hours after the explosions began, lava had entered the ocean, with thick smoke surrounding the coast, according to the USGS. But it's unclear how long it would take to re-open access to the area, he said.

"I left a lot of things behind because I didn't want to feel as if I was abandoning my home", Rahmer said. Okabe estimated there are several hundred homes in each of the two subdivisions. She said it would be some time before precise losses were confirmed.

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