Giant acidic steam clouds rise from ocean after lava spill in Hawaii

Giant acidic steam clouds rise from ocean after lava spill in Hawaii

Giant acidic steam clouds rise from ocean after lava spill in Hawaii

Officials warned on Tuesday that a large plume of laze, a toxic lava haze composed of hydrochloric acid and tiny shards of volcanic glass, was blowing inland along the coastline, released with the ongoing inundation of Kapoho Bay.

A morning overflight confirmed that lava had completely filled Kapoho Bay, inundated most of Vacationland and covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots, scientists with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

According to Snyder, Kim said, "Things that took weeks and months to get done in the past has now taken days".

Lava has been flowing from fissures that broke out in neighborhoods last month.

Lava from Kilauea has covered an area of almost 5,000 acres, according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. More than 2,500 residents from the area have had to leave with more than 300 seeking refuge in nearby community centers. The lava produced a massive cloud of steam when it reached the ocean at Kapoho Bay on Monday.

There were about 500 homes in the Kapoho area. "It's hard because obviously a lot of people have lost a lot more than just a attractive place to visit and memories".

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. 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.

Barbara McDaniel, a retiree who moved with her husband to Vacationland from Washington state five years ago, said they fled as soon as evacuations began, taking little else but their dog and cat with them. He said that number was sure to grow because there were many more damaged homes to count.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said a magnitude 5.5 quake at a depth of 1.14km and 5km south-west of the volcano struck the island on Tuesday.

"Therefore, we believe that the messages from the Governor and the Hawaii Tourism Authority that the volcano is in a remote location, over 100 miles from the main tourist resort areas, and that the islands are open for business, have credibility and are, to a significant extent, being heeded".

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