Kilauea has swallowed 600 homes in unprecedented eruption

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An ever-creeping wall of lava from Kilauea Volcano has engulfed two entire seaside housing tracts at the eastern tip of Hawaii's Big Island, government scientists reported on Wednesday, an area where civil defense officials said almost 280 homes once stood.

Scientists working with the US Geological Survey said that lava flow in Hawaii is still active and there's no way out find out when the eruption will end.

Since May 3rd, Kilauea's lava, ash and rocks have destroyed about 600 homes, closed major highways and prompted health warnings. Lava pouring into the ocean there has completely filled in the bay, extending almost a mile (1.6 km) out from what had been the shoreline, USGS scientists said.

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

The lava, which has covered more than 5,000 acres in this latest eruption that began on May 3, is very thick. Reports confirmed that hundreds are left homeless, and everything around the area has been destroyed.

More recently a huge river of lava that has crept several miles across the landscape to the eastern tip of the island engulfed two entire seaside housing subdivisions - Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland. The new land in Kapoho Bay is now owned by the state, but the peninsula won't look like the farmland that dominates that region of the Big Island anytime soon.

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For example, one small ohia tree was observed by a National Park Service employee last week during a tour of a two-year-old inactive flow.

"Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water", the HVO warns. "There are flows on the Kona side of the island that are much older than some flows on east Hawaii, they are much older but they have far less vegetation and that's just a reflection of the difference in rainfall".

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