Hawaii Volcano's Bubbling Lava Is Enough To Cover Manhattan

A 5.3-magnitude quake accompanied the latest eruption.

The Hawaii eruption, with high walls of slow-moving lava, has engulfed about 600 homes since May 3, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said last week.

Approximately eight square miles of Hawaii's Big Island has been covered by lava since this period of activity began on May 3.

Hawaii County Civil Defense agency officials are allowing residents with official credentials to enter Leilani Estates. It was flowing north and then east toward a community the lava wiped out last week.

Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say communities on the south part of the island may be impacted by falling ash. This asymmetry reflects the prevailing trade winds, with more lava piling up on the downwind side of the fountains.

Also Saturday, there was an explosive eruption of rock and ash at Kilauea's summit at 4:50 a.m. that produced a plume expected to possibly blow to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View.

Officials warned that gas emissions from Fissure 8 have doubled triggering air quality concerns, according to Hawaii News Now.

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.

Lava flow from Fissue 8 is emitting risky gasses, officials say.

"Just a few days ago Kapoho Bay was a attractive vacation destination, filled with vacation homes, lovely beaches and clear water", Forbes wrote last week.

As well as the hundreds of homes lost, Kilauea has destroyed countless other buildings, forced thousands to flee their homes, and engulfed massive expanses of land.

  • Jon Douglas