Giant acidic steam clouds rise from ocean after lava spill in Hawaii

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

HOLLYN JOHNSON Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

A morning overflight confirmed that lava completely filled Kapoho Bay, inundated most of Vacationland and covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots, scientists with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

So far, it was unclear how many homes have been affected, but Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said it was fair to say it was hundreds.

Thousands of people in the Puna area had to evacuate after the first fissure opened May 3.

Many island residents have lost everything.

"He was very depressed", Okabe said of how Kim, the mayor, felt about losing his vacation home. This doesn't mean all homes were affected, but authorities will have to count and match the areas with property maps.

A slow-moving flood of lava destroyed hundreds of homes in the southeast area of Big Island, turning what had been a scenic bay dotted with beach homes, lush greens and turquoise waters, into a dark slab of steam and lava.

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The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has issued an evacuation order for residents in the area, as the acidic fumes can prove fatal if inhaled. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area. These were vacation homes and rentals, as well as primary residences.

This satellite image provided by Digital Globe captured on Saturday, shows advancing lava flows on Hawaii as they approach Kapoho Bay and the Vacationland residential neighbourhood. Bookings for June and July are just 0.5% and 1.6% behind and bookings for August, September and October are ahead 6.7%, 7.9% and 2.3% respectively, according to ForwardKeys.

"Right now, we don't have anything".

Most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been closed since May 11 because of earthquakes and continuous explosions from the volcano's summit crater. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Lava had covered almost 8 square miles (20.7 sq km) of landscape as of Monday, and some 9,900 earthquakes had been recorded on the Big Island since Kilauea rumbled back to life last month.

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