Hundreds More Hawaii Homes Destroyed as Lava Surge Fills Coastal Bay

07 June, 2018, 02:10 | Author: Kim Reid
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

"We don't have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost last night", Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii county, said Tuesday.

County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened.

Homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are on smaller lots and are closer together than in other parts of the Puna district.

A steam plume first appeared around 10 a.m. Saturday as lava poured into Green Lake in Kapoho, but by 3 p.m. a Hawaii County Fire Department overflight confirmed to the US Geological Survey that the lake had filled with lava and the body of water was no more.

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Vivian Mark, a resident of Hilo who owns a beachfront vacation rental in Vacationland and is president of the Vacationland Hawaii Community Association, said Vacationland consisted of 240 housing lots and almost 90 farm lots, but she was unsure how many of those had properties built on them.

"The difference between our June 3rd and June 5th images are dramatic, with lava completely filling Kapoho Bay by yesterday afternoon", a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

The USGS shared aerial footage showing the lava from Fissure 8 forming a delta in Kapoho Bay.

Officials haven't yet released the total number of homes destroyed in Kapoho. As of early Tuesday, lava burned down at least 159 homes, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports.

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The lava flow has covered about 7.7 square miles of the island, according to the USGS.

According to Snyder, a number of drone operators have been cited for violating the temporary flight restriction area over lava flows.

"He was very depressed", Okabe said of how Kim, the mayor, felt about losing his vacation home.

Not too long ago, Kapoho Bay was a picturesque vacation destination for many. The large laze plume was blowing inland along the coastline and the agency warned residents to avoid the area.

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The flow, which is a half-mile wide in parts, entered the sea Sunday night, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, sending large plumes of "laze" - a risky mix of steam, gas and volcanic glass - into the air. She said it would be some time before precise losses were confirmed.

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