Aerial shows devastating lava flows from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

Daily Mail

Aerial images of Hawaii captured the devastating lava flows from the Kilauea volcano which destroyed hundreds of homes in one night, including the Big Island county mayor’s second home.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim’s home was among the at least 159 houses in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland wiped out by lava flows on Monday night.  

But Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County on the Big Island, said they believe the number could be much higher – in the hundreds. The mass destruction in one night more than doubles the 117 confirmed homes that have been destroyed since Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began erupting May 3 – making it the most destructive day since the eruption began.

‘Harry had a premonition this was going to happen,’ she told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ‘Vacationland is almost totally destroyed.’

Several homes were still ablaze on Tuesday after lave flows destroyed  hundreds of properties in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii 
Aerial images captured the devastating lava flows from the Kilauea volcano which destroyed hundreds of homes in one night, including the Big Island county mayor's second home
Lava erupts in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, on Tuesday, after tearing through the islands 
The  eruptions have been spewing molten lava, ash clouds and tiny particles of glass as the lava flows reached the sea
Lava flows across a highway on the outskirts of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii 

County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots was also threatened. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

‘For us it’s more of a vacation area, but for those who live there permanently, they’re trying to figure out where they’re going to be living,’ he said.

‘He was very depressed,’ Okabe said of how Kim felt about losing his vacation home. Kim and Okabe live in Hilo, the county’s seat, which is more than an hour drive from the Kapoho area.

Those who live or vacation in the area were mourning the loss of popular tide-pools where kids enjoyed swimming.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim's home was among the at least 160 houses in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland wiped out by lava flows on Monday night
But Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County on the Big Island, said they believe the number could be much higher - in the hundreds
Steam rises from the coast as the boiling hot lava flows meet the sea creating smoke known as laze, which is filled with fine glass particles and hydrochloric acid
Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii on Tuesday 
A property, possibly a vacation home, goes up in flames as it is surrounded by lava flows
Thankfully, the area had already been evacuated so no injuries or casualties were reported
Lava surrounds a home on the outskirts of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano 

Thankfully, the area had already been evacuated so no injuries or casualties were reported.

A magnitude-5.5 earthquake also shook the area, causing further damage, on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, lava poured into the Kapoho Bay, releasing toxic steam and tiny glass particles, all but covering the bay and most of Vacationland. Witnesses also report a cloud of ash was sent billowing a mile into the sky.

The bright red lava flows in Hawaii can get as hot as 1,165 F, with the temperature of the glowing orange flows reaching more than 1,600 F – igniting trees, roads, buildings or anything in its path.

‘There’s a lot of destruction,’ Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, told CBS affiliate KGMB-TV. ‘It’s like a flood – it’s just pouring out, covering everything in its path. It looks like there’s no stopping it.’

Lava continued to flow at a much slower pace into the bay on Tuesday.

The eruptions have caused chaos across Hawaii since they began on May 3, which have caused earthquakes, volcanic ash smog or ‘vog’ and acid rain, giant fissures and cracks across the islands, and lava destroying anything that stands in its way.

Red hot lava flows, with pockets of rock, floating down the lava. Experts say the eruptions have already wiped out more than 300 homes
The bright red lava flows in Hawaii can get as hot as 1,165 F, with the temperature of the glowing orange flows reaching more than 1,600 F
The lava flows can ignite trees, roads, buildings or anything in its path - leaving molten rock behind 

Thousands of residents have been evacuated since they began, and most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remain closed.

But some keen tourists have found another way to see the huge eruption – via boat. Pictures show adventurous tourists using a boat to approach the point where lava is sliding into the ocean, their vessel seemingly just yards from the thick smoke.

The adventure doesn’t come without danger though. When lava hits water it sends up a smoke known as laze, which is filled with fine glass particles and hydrochloric acid.

In the images, tourists are seen holding up cameras as they approach the smoke, and in some it appears the group are in the midst of it all.

Kim, has warned people to ‘stay away from any ocean plume to prevent harmful health effects’ after the lava inundation.

Currently, most boats must keep away from a 300 meter radius of where the lava hits the water.

Lava erupts in Leilani Estates during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5 
Similar events are expected to continue for 'months', Cindi Preller, geologist and duty scientist at the Oahu office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said
On Sunday, the National Guard airlifted two man and a woman from an isolated area to safety after they became surrounded by fast moving lava. Nearly 400 evacuees stayed at shelters on Saturday night, including people from Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, with cell service not working in the area
Monday night saw the most damage caused by the volcano since eruptions began on May 3. This image shows shows the lava flow originating from Fissure 8 entering Kapoho Bay 

A spokeswoman for the US Coast Guard told DailyMail.com the area was decided on by the USGS, the Hawaii Volcano Observatory and the Coast Guard, and that there was a second, closer number for some tour operators.

She said because the volcano had affected so many locals, only one operator was currently believed to be running, and confirmed they had a waiver from the safety zone.

‘[The operator] has permission to approach closer because they have proven they have the proper equipment and experience to operate closer to lava,’ she said.

‘But, they must still remain a safe distance away. There is still risk involved, but it’s a mitigated risk.’

The spokeswoman said the Coast Guard and scientific bodies working on preventing any avoidable harm from occurring during Kilauea’s eruption. She said there was great interest from people wanting to see the phenomenon, and all three organisations wanted to see it done safely and with the absolute minimum risk.

Lieutenant John Bannon told DailyMail.com the distance operators with a waiver could travel towards the smoke changed constantly, but was quite lenient.

‘Based on the lava hazards, we have allowed approved operators the discretion to get as close to the lava as they feel safe,’ he explained.

While it is not known how close the group were, at some points it almost appeared they were engulfed in the smoke
With many roads closed off and residential areas being evacuated, boat tours allow exclusive access to a close up view
Tourists were seen with their cameras out, documenting the moment lava from Kilauea hit the Pacific Ocean

‘At other times we’ve restricted access to various distances… it’s a moving line based on the lava activity, or threat of a bench collapse.’

Applying for a waiver is a difficult job, with operators needing to provide detailed information on their safety system, mariner background, their vessel and the safety equipment on board.

Lt. Bannon said he was not too concerned about letting vetted operators head in towards the lava, considering the high standards they needed to meet.

‘It’s the paddle boarder, kayaker, wanting to get that selfie, that becomes our next search and rescue case,’ he said.

The tour company believed to own the boat pictured has been contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

Kilauea has been erupting for a month, with lava now moving faster than before and consuming much of the residential areas.

Early on Tuesday morning, a tremor rocked the volcano, sending ash spewing up to a mile high.

Luckily, the small size of the earthquake meant there was no threat of a tsunami, another danger of being in the ocean while the area is so unstable.

‘Unlike lava, which you can see coming and avoid, we cannot see or predict earthquakes,’ Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. ‘Nor can we foresee a summit explosion. But both threats continue.’

Lieutenant John Bannon told DailyMail.com depending on the current risk, operators with a waiver were allowed to go in as close to the lava as they felt comfortable 
When there was extra risk though, the Coast Guard would create a set safety line for operators with a waiver

It is not known how close the tour group managed to get towards the point where lava met the ocean on Monday
A spokeswoman from the US Coast Guard told DailyMail.com many tour operators were currently suspending their tours as they had lost their homes in the eruptions
Pictured:  Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of Kilauea
The lava has consumed 176 structures on the island, and thousands have been evacuated over the past month
When lava meets the ocean, it explodes, creating the toxic, thick smoke (pictured) 

Lt. Bannon said he was not too concerned about letting vetted operators head in closer towards the lava, considering the high standards they needed to meet

Similar events are expected to continue for ‘months’, Cindi Preller, geologist and duty scientist at the Oahu office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told ABC News.

‘The volcano is active and when these eruptive sequences get underway it’s doing exactly as it’s supposed to do, behaving as it should,’ she said.

On Sunday, the National Guard airlifted two man and a woman from an isolated area to safety after they became surrounded by fast moving lava.

Nearly 400 evacuees stayed at shelters on Saturday night, including people from Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, with cell service not working in the area.

On Saturday, National Guard troops, police and firefighters ushered evacuees from homes on the eastern tip of the island, hours before lava cut off road access to the area, officials said.

Big Island’s mayor, Harry Kim, warned of volcanic gas emissions, including sulfur dioxide being high in the fissure system. He added: 'Residents in the area and downwind should take precaution to limit exposure. Stay alert and be prepared to evacuate with little notice’

Jessica Ball, USGS volcanologist said on Sunday that lava was continuing to fountain from fissure 8, ‘and is feeding a lava flow that has wrapped around the Kapoho Crater to the north and has entered the Vacationland neighborhood.

‘Lava entered Green Lake at about 10am (June 2), forming a large steam plume, and by 1.30pm lava had filled the lake and boiled off all the water.

‘At 7am on June 3, the flow front had entered Kapoho beach lots and was about 50 yards from the ocean.

‘We estimate that the flow front is moving roughly 250 feet per hour, but be advised that this could become faster or slower at any time. There is now no access to Vacationland, Kapoho, or Highways 132 and 137. There was a weak flow from fissure 16, but it has not advanced far beyond the vent.

‘At the summit, earthquake activity was low and ash emissions from the Halema’uma’u crater were weak. However, gas emissions remain high and we expect small explosive events to continue.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5810287/Incredible-aerial-devastating-lava-flows-Hawaiis-Kilauea-volcano.html

4 thoughts on “Aerial shows devastating lava flows from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

  1. Mayor Hairy Kim.

    These people r killin me.

    Well let me take a fkng guess here.

    The next Mayor will be….

    Drum roll pleazzzzz.

    “Mayor Bald Chee”.

    Bada Cheeeing..

  2. Nice pictures, but anyone who didn’t get the hell out of there by now is just begging to be roasted.

    Good time to take a vacation and see the continental U.S., perhaps?

  3. The island is the size of Connecticut. Is the perspective comparison to the effected area the size of Hartford? Will the media continue to portray the whole island on fire?

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