Kilauea Volcano is now reshaping Hawaii’s Big Island coastline. Flows of lava march all the way down to the Pacific Ocean where they are currently filling in Kapoho Bay and remaking the coastline. The Kilauea Volcano began its latest eruptions May 3, 2018. Kilauea is the world's most active volcano and has been in near-constant eruption since 1983.
The unceasing flow of lava has destroyed hundreds of structures and recently erased the island's largest lake, Green Lake. Within five hours all the water in the lake had been evaporated by the relentless heat of the lava.
The United States Geological Society USGS reports that even more violent eruptions could occur. The potential for steam can shoot "ballistic rocks" weighing up to several tons about a mile away and very high levels of hazardous sulfur dioxide emissions. The air fumes are called "vog" -- or volcanic fog. They can drift far from the eruption and hang in the air causing acid rain. The vog is life-threatening can cause headaches, lung irritation and even induce asthma attacks.
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The lava front that began flowing directly into the ocean filling the Kapoho with cooling lava. When lava contacts salt water it produces a toxic acid steam called "laze" that is laced with tiny particles of glass. All of Hawaii’s islands started out as lava flow and this is how they grow.
Thousands of individuals have been displaced by the lava. What is needed most is food and water. The lava will make many regions uninhabitable forcing people to relocate and start over.
At the volcano's summit, earthquake activity has been intensifying, including a 5.5 magnitude temblor early in June. At the time of writing this article The Hawaii County Civil Defense Authority reports there is no threat of a tsunami from the earthquakes. Roads and building have been damaged by the quakes. The destruction of the flow is just off the scale. There is no end to the eruptions in sight at this time, or how far the lava might spread.
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