Hawaii lava destroys 2 oceanfront communities

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

The lava pushed into beach lots in Kapoho, which has about 350 homes and Vacationland, which has about 150.

Now, the area is completely covered by lava after a slow-moving flow pushed its way through the neighborhood, claiming hundreds of homes in what was considered to be the most destructive day of any eruption in modern times.

Okabe describes the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

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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. She said that lava from Kilauea volcano had completely covered the subdivision in Kapoho and at last report, just a small portion of Kapoho Beach Lots remained.

Lava from a fissure near the volcano entered Kapoho Bay late Sunday or early Monday, forcing billowing clouds of steam into the atmosphere as hot lava hit the cool water of the Pacific Ocean.

Governor David Ige signed a second supplemental emergency proclamation on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) that gives the county more options for shelters and sets criminal penalties for violating emergency rules, such as failing to evacuate and interfering with emergency workers.

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"I'm kind of at peace, actually", Johnson said of potentially losing his home of 28 years. More than 2,500 residents from the area have had to leave with more than 300 seeking refuge in nearby community centers. His ocean-view property sits on a ridge near the base of Kapoho crater, and he thinks the lava could have missed it.

Lava from Kilauea has covered an area of almost 5,000 acres, according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

"Nobody knows what comes next as far as the lava goes", Snyder told The Washington Post. Most of those homes are believed to have been lost.

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At least 51 homes have been destroyed since the volcanic emergency began, and more than 2,000 people have fled the area. Officials say there was no release of any risky hydrogen sulfide gas after lava crept over the plugged wells Sunday.

On May 4, a 6.9-magnitude quake was centered near the south flank of Kilauea one hour after a 5.4-magnitude natural disaster struck nearby, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed. The homes lost in the Kapoho lava flow are not a part of the county's official tally of 130. "It's a attractive spot", she said Monday.

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