New coastline emerges as Kilauea pumps more lava to the sea

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area east of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii U.S

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area east of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii U.S

"The flow front from the Fissure 8 lava flow has now completely filled Kapoho Bay and created a delta about 0.8 miles from the former coastline", USGS volcanologist Jessica Ball said in a daily update at 9:30 a.m. Hawaii time.

Mark Johnson, who was evacuated, told the AP that he thinks the lava may have missed his oceanview property, which sits on a ridge near the base of Kapoho crater.

The volcanic gas and ash emission could affect air quality across the central and southern half of Big Island, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

The fast-moving lava poured into the low-lying coastal Hawaii neighbourhoods in just two days this week, destroying hundreds of homes. "The past few days have got to be one of the saddest in the long life that I've experienced", Kim said.

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.

Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai'i, known as Big Island.

In Hawaii, previous eruptions have destroyed small towns, but nothing on the scale of this outbreak. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960 and 2014-2015. Over the course of about eight months in 1990, 214 homes were destroyed in that area.

Even major explosive eruptions like that of Washington state's Mount St. Helens in 1980 didn't result in the same number of homes lost.

"We expect larger explosions will continue at the summit", Stovall said Wednesday.

USGS geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Janet Babb said that explosion released intense energy equivalent to a 5.6 magnitude natural disaster.

Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones.

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