Satellite images show effects of volcano's latest explosion on Hawaii's Big Island

Leroy Wright
June 11, 2018

The ownership of this so-called "lava extension" has been determined by a 1955 Supreme Court ruling.

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

An oceanfront subdivision known as Vacationland is the latest to be swallowed by lava flows as the Kilauea volcano continues to reshape the landscape on Hawaii's Big Island.

Though extensions are state property, land covered by fresh flows of lava remain the property of the landowners, Motherboard reports.

The smoke is a result of the lava hitting the ocean water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Lava has since been pouring out of large fissures in the earth and down to the ocean.

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At the volcano's summit, sulphur dioxide emissions, while lower than those recorded in early to mid-May, are continuing to have an impact on air quality levels.

"How soon vegetation comes back on a lava flow really depends on the type of lava it is, and how much rainfall there is in the area", said Babb.

"Our responsibility is to try to work with the community to rebuild out of harm's way", Kim said. "The bench that was formed during 2016 and 2017 61G flow has already collapsed and fallen into the ocean, so nobody really owns that any longer". While no one has been killed and only one lava-related injury has been reported, the number of destroyed homes dwarfs other recent American eruptions. "On the northern end of that, there are just a few homes in the (Kapoho) beach lots area".

The destruction of Vacationland was triggered by a 5.6 magnitude natural disaster that hit the summit of the Kilauea volcano. They too are cut off and inaccessible.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, whose home was among those lost, said the increased toll makes the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in the state's history.

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