June 12 (UPI) — Lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has created 250 acres of new land in the ocean, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.
The agency’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said lava from Fissure 8 created a channel sending the flow into the ocean at Kapoho Bay. HVO confirmed to UPI that the lava delta in the bay was about 250 acres as of Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, officials said lava destroyed some 600 homes along the coast on its way to Kapoho Bay.
HVO said Fissure 8 is sending lava fountaining about 200 feet into the air, creating Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass, which can irritate the lungs, eyes and skin. Where the lava is entering the ocean, it’s creating a phenomenon known as “laze,” steam that also contains small glass particles.
The Hawai’i County Civil Defense also cautioned residents about “very high” gas emissions from the fissure and ocean entry. The National Weather Service said decreased trade winds is expected to create thicker vog or gas emissions.
On Thursday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a memo to free up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to pay for police, fire, public works and civil defense personnel. The money will also help with equipment needed for evacuations and rebuilding.
The County of Hawai’i announced that Leilani Estates West of Pomaikai Street and Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road were opened only to residents with official credentials.