Minor explosion at Hawaii volcano spews more ash into the air

  • Minor explosion at Hawaii volcano spews more ash into the air

Minor explosion at Hawaii volcano spews more ash into the air

It's covered more than 5,000 acres and is up to 20 feet deep in some places.

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed about 600 to 700 homes since it began flowing early last month and there's no sign of it stopping anytime soon, officials said Monday. It was flowing north and then east toward a community the lava wiped out last week.

Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume, civil defense reported Sunday morning.

Bob Fenton, FEMA administrator for Region IX, told reporters Monday he conducted an overflight of lava-ravaged areas and was "amazed at the amount of devastation".

Officials are transitioning to recovery efforts, with help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is starting to do damage assessments, Magno said.

Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say communities on the south part of the island may be impacted by falling ash.

USGS warned that lava flows from Fissure 8 remains a major concern as it channels along the south-east end of Big Island, turning into a corrosive cloud of muriatic acid and small glass particles as it hits the sea.

While the lava continues to spew in lower Puna, seismic events at Kilauea volcano's summit are also continuous.

About half of those homes were destroyed in the past few days. There were two small blasts Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 quake, scientists said.

Ash expelled during explosions may cause poor visibility and slippery conditions for drivers.

The ongoing lava flows have forced thousands of people from their homes, although many have been allowed to return on a temporary basis, particularly in the Leilani Estates area.

The USGS warns against trying to explore the unsafe ocean entry points because the potentially explosive meeting of lava and water can send debris flying.