Lava Oozes Out From Kilauea Volcano

Hawaii volcano eruption lava flow map

Lava from the Kilauea eruption is redefining the coastline on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano has been erupting since May 3, and according to the county of Hawaii's civil defense agency, another small explosion occurred on Sunday morning.

It's possible a new fissure will open or vigorous flows could emerge from vents that have been inactive. There were two small blasts Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 natural disaster, scientists said.

The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water.

A spokesperson for Hawaii County Civil Defence said: "What used to be the bay is now all lava bed, new land, nearly a mile out into the ocean".

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Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. This activity continues to feed the fast-moving channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze - a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass.

Many people whose homes have been destroyed don't have insurance, and FEMA officials are working with local authorities to get disaster assistance to those who qualify.

The current lava eruption began May 3 in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, about 35 miles away from the island's largest city of Hilo. To date, the lava has destroyed more than 600 homes.

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