Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

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More than 600 homes have been destroyed since the volcanic activity began in early may.

Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.

Lava erupts in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, June 5, 2018.

"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. Lava pouring into the ocean there has completely filled in the bay, extending almost a mile (1.6 km) out from what had been the shoreline, USGS scientists said.

Fast-moving lava from fissure 8 poured into the low-laying coastal Hawaii neighborhoods in just two days this week, destroying hundreds of homes.

The lava also vaporised Hawaii's largest freshwater lake.

Big island eruption
Scientists can’t predict when Kilauea eruption will end

More recently a huge river of lava that has crept several miles across the landscape to the eastern tip of the island engulfed two entire seaside housing subdivisions - Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland.

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.

"Rainfall really makes a difference", said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane.

As of early Friday 24 separate fissures covered almost 8 square miles of land in lava.

"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", the HVO warns. The latest estimate of property losses came after Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a document that enables financial support from a state disaster relief fund. People that have private property in the affected areas will still own their land, though it will need to be reassessed once the lava stops flowing.

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.

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