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14 June 2018, 08:48 | Erica Roy
Ash Eruption At Kilauea Summit Registered As 5.4 Earthquake
More than 600 homes have been destroyed by the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii in more than a month since lava began flowing, confirmed a top official.
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 an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued almost nonstop over three decades.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed since the volcano began erupting a month ago and shelters are starting to reach capacity. The eruption is one of the most destructive in USA history, though amazingly no one has been killed and only one injury has been reported.
That help came Thursday after Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a memorandum of understanding that freed up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to the island.
"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", said USGS geologist Janet Babb.
Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii's five volcanoes, is feared to be on the brink of another major eruption after being rattled by more than 500 earthquakes over the weekend.
Kim said Vacationland, a private development believed to comprise roughly 160 homes, was completely erased, and that at least 330 houses were devoured by lava at Kapoho Beach Lots. "I'm talking about 600 families". There was no lava activity from the other fissures but fissures 24, 9, and 10 were billowing gases, scientists said.
USGS officials also say there is no way to know when the eruption will end or if more fissures will open.
Plumes of volcanic ash belched into the air by periodic daily explosions from the crater at Kilauea's summit have posed an additional nuisance and health hazard to nearby communities. A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles.
Thousands of residents have been left shell-shocked by the devastation that's been pounding the island.
In addition to property damage, the eruption has severed highways, knocked out power and telephone services and shut down a geothermal plant that usually provides about a quarter of the island's power.
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