Kilauea Lava Flow Rolls Into Sea at Kapoho Bay

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(Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area. On Friday, the count was at 87 homes.

The county managing director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots was also threatened.

Overnight Monday and Tuesday, A wide and fast lava flow from Kilauea volcano's fissure No. 8 wiped out hundreds of homes in Kapoho and obliterated Kapoho Bay, replacing it with a almost mile-long delta of lava rock.

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. Any contact with laze plumes can cause serious irritation to the lungs, eyes and skin.

This satellite image provided by Digital Globe captured on Saturday, shows advancing lava flows on Hawaii as they approach Kapoho Bay and the Vacationland residential neighbourhood.

"Harry had a premonition this was going to happen", Snyder said. About 7.7 square miles of land have been covered by lava.

"Right now, we don't have anything".

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The river of lava is emanating from a gushing fissure miles away, on the flanks of the Kilauea volcano in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

There have been various arrests of people forcing their way through blocked areas.

"This could go on for months", she said. Police on Monday said a 62-year-old man sped through a checkpoint near an intersection where lava was approaching. Police said a 55-year-old man was arrested last week after he circumvented a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into a hardened lava flow.

Reports suggest that hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the eruption event.

Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, the volcano began spewing ash almost a mile into the air, sparking a 5.5 magnitude quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters that people needed to stay at least 1,000 feet back from the bay to avoid health effects from the laze, in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency standards. It's not known when the heavily visited Kilauea section of the park will reopen.