Hawaii volcano has destroyed 600 homes, officials say

U.S. Geological Survey map

U.S. Geological Survey map

Mount Kilauea's latest eruption began early on Tuesday morning and was so powerful it spewed ash almost a mile into the air and sparked a 5.5 magnitude natural disaster.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, whose home was among those lost, said the increased toll makes the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in the state's history.

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018. Most recently, a huge river of lava has engulfed two entire seaside subdivisions - Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has been erupting for 33 days.

The lava also vaporised Hawaii's largest freshwater lake.

The volcano eruption on the Big Island has wiped out 600 homes.

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Around 3:00 a.m. HST on June 8, lava fountains erupting from fissure 8 on Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone were reaching heights of 55-65 meters (180-220 feet).

Most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to persistent earthquakes and eruptions of corrosive volcanic ash.

AP reports that the lava from the eruption "is among the most destructive and costly in volcano property loss in USA history".

The Kapoho ocean entry (as of 6:30 a.m.), where the interaction of fissure 8 lava and seawater produces a white plume called "laze". The lake was hundreds of feet deep in some places.

In addition to destroying homes and other structures, lava flows have knocked out telephone and power lines, causing widespread communication outages, and forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

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