Hawaii volcano eruption: SHOCK PICTURES of Kapoho Bay before and after | World | News



The wall of lava, about five metres tall, has totally engulfed the seaside resorts of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, obliterating everything that was once built there.

Lava poured into two oceanfront subdivisions, smothering hundreds of homes and filling an ocean bay, turning it into new land that now juts into the sea.

Official statistics show the number of homes destroyed by Kilauea is now more than 400.

Nearby neighbourhoods Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens had previously felt the wrath of Kilauea’s fury, but the lava path turned north-east and took out Kapoho.

Officials have said that Kapoho Bay itself has been filled in with lava that extended nearly a mile from what had been the shoreline.

A spokesperson for Hawaii County Civil Defence said: “What used to be the bay is now all lava bed, new land, almost a mile out into the ocean.”

Incredible footage taken from circling helicopters shows houses engulfed in flames as lava pours into the ocean, releasing hydrochloric acid fumes known as ‘laze’ – lava haze.

USGS volcanologist Wendy Stovall said: “Vacationland is gone, there’s no evidence of any properties there at all.”

County officials said the two subdivisions have 279 homes, and most are feared destroyed from the most recent lava flows in the low-lying area.

“Over the course of essentially two days, that entire area was covered by lava,” Stovall said.

Authorities began evacuating the Kapoho Bay area last week as the lava began heading for the area.

The last remaining residents were out of the path of danger by Saturday, just hours before lava cut off all roads to the area.

A few holdouts were airlifted to safety on Sunday, leaving no more than a handful of people who refused to leave.

Betty Oberman, a 28-year Vacationland resident, said: “I just locked my doors and walked away. It’s an emotional roller coaster.”

Resident Mark Johnson is hopeful his home on a citrus farm on a ridge near the base of Kapoho crater is one of those still standing, saying: “Basically we are up on that hill, so we’re still OK right now.”

But even if he hasn’t lost his home of 28 years, it is currently inaccessible.

“I’m kind of at peace, actually,” Johnson said. “I feel that I’ve had a really great experience.”

Approximately eight square miles of Hawaii’s Big Island has been covered by lava since this period of activity began on May 3.

Around 9,900 earthquakes have been recorded on the island in this period.

Kilauea has been in an active cycle for the last 35 years, but turned explosive when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocked the area in late April.

This is being cited as an unprecedented event, as there are two eruptions occurring simultaneously: the eruption at Kilauea’s summit crater as well as along a six-mile string of fissures 25 miles down its east flank.


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