Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

The fast-moving lava poured into the low-laying coastal Hawaii neighborhoods in just two days this week, destroying hundreds of homes.

An ever-creeping wall of lava from Kilauea Volcano has engulfed two entire seaside housing tracts at the eastern tip of Hawaii's Big Island, government scientists reported on Wednesday, an area where civil defense officials said almost 280 homes once stood.

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

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude quake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

As the fiery eruption of Kilauea continues to force evacuations on the Big Island of Hawaii, authorities are warning about other phenomena that could harm those in the area.

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"Vacationland is gone, there's no evidence of any properties there at all", Wendy Stovall, a vulcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), told reporters on a conference call.

The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said. At the adjacent Kapoho Beach lots to the north, "just a few homes" are left standing, she added.

County civil defence officials had a day earlier put the confirmed number of homes destroyed during the past month at 130, all of them in and around the Leilani Estates community, where lava-spouting fissures opened up on the volcano's eastern flank on May 3. "Don't forget the farmers, don't forget the ranchers, don't forget all the employees for them".

Scientists working with the US Geological Survey said that lava flow in Hawaii is still active and there's no way out find out when the eruption will end.

Seaside residents and boaters also have been warned to avoid noxious clouds of laze - a term derived from the words "lava" and "haze" - formed when lava reacts with seawater to form a mix of acid fumes, steam and glass-like particles when it flows into the ocean.

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