Explosive eruption reported from Hawaii's Kilauea

United States Geological Survey shows lava flowing out of Kilauea Volcanos fissure 8 on Hawaiis Big Island and then entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and Vacationland

United States Geological Survey shows lava flowing out of Kilauea Volcanos fissure 8 on Hawaiis Big Island and then entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and Vacationland

This Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo from the U.S. Geological Survey shows Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone, showing continued fountaining of a fissure and the lava flow channel fed by it near the town of Kapoho on the island of Hawaii.

More recently a huge river of lava that has crept several miles across the landscape to the eastern tip of the island engulfed two entire seaside housing subdivisions - Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland.

The lava has spread across an area of 5,000 acres and most of the area is covered in around 10 to 20 feet of lava.

Also present at the press conference, Hawaii Governor David Ige said state will allocate 12 million USA dollars to help respond to the eruption, covering expenses ranging from overtime work to food and equipment. While the delta margin nearest the ocean has cooled somewhat, the lava flow front is still very hot and producing laze (lava haze).

Lava has swamped the island's largest lake as well as the areas of Vacationland and Kapoho Bay.

Increased natural disaster activity in the region earlier in the day fit what Stovall called a "pattern" for explosive eruptions at Kilauea's summit.

"Rainfall really makes a difference", said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane. "The bench that was formed during 2016 and 2017 61G flow has already collapsed and fallen into the ocean, so nobody really owns that any longer".

An estimated 2,500 people have been displaced by evacuations across the island since the eruption began five weeks ago, spouting fountains of lava and high concentrations of toxic sulfur dioxide gas through about two dozen volcanic fissures at the foot of the volcano. At the adjacent Kapoho Beach lots to the north, "just a few homes" are left standing, she added.

Authorities began evacuating the greater Kapoho area last week and ushered most of the last remaining residents to safety early on Saturday, hours before the lava flow severed all road access to the region.

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