Kilauea Unleashes More Small Blasts, Snaking Lava

Hawaii volcano

Hawaii volcano

Scientists say the blasts happened Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 quake. But in the past two weeks, more vigorous lava flows have poured downhill to the coast, blocking roads and destroying hundreds of homes in the Kapoho and Vacationland areas.

County Civil Defense Agency Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters Monday that fewer workers are needed to staff a 24-hour operations center and officials are reducing checkpoints.

The lava is also flowing into the ocean, where it has created about 200 acres of new land, while also releasing risky gas plumes and causing explosions as the molten rock hits the cold water.

PAHOA The mighty fissure 8 in Leilani Estates continued to make Hawaii island a little bigger Saturday, pumping lava that stayed for the most part in a stream-like channel exiting into the ocean about 8 miles away near the island's eastern tip.

Scientists warn against venturing too close to lava hitting water, saying it could expose people to dangers from flying debris.

A small explosion on the summit of Kilauea volcano has triggered an quake but there are no reports of damage.

"When waves splash onto molten lava, they "explode" in a cloud of steam, hot water and tephra (molten splatter) called a 'tephra jet, '" the USGS wrote on Facebook. Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would carry out an assessment of the number of houses Kilauea destroyed over the coming days, adding the affected buildings could be as many as 700.

Thousands of residents have fled their homes and at least 600 homes have been destroyed.

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