Lava spewed out by Hawaii volcano reaches hottest temperature and fastest speed

Saul Bowman
June 1, 2018

Lava sends up clouds of steam and toxic gases as it enters the Pacific Ocean as Kilauea Volcano continues its eruption cycle near Pahoa on the island of Kilauea, Hawaii.

At that rate, the lava, which forced the evacuations of residents along roads north of Highway 132, covered nearly a half-mile in 80 minutes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Hawaii County's civil defense administrator said tensions were running high as a result.

And the eruptions are still going strong.

"This is the hottest lava we've seen during this eruption", Wendy Stovall, a scientist with USGS told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park has been closed for 19 days and has no water due to damaged utility lines, said Jessica Ferracane, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service.

The eruption at Kīlauea is continuing unabated today, with lava flows from Fissure 8 that moved at ~550 meters (600 yards) per hour - and that's pretty fast for a lava flow.

Over the weekend, there were more than 250 earthquakes at Kilauea's summit, with four explosions on Saturday sending ash as high as 12,000-15,000 feet, officials said.

A state senator who took an aerial tour of the Puna Geothermal plant on the Big Island, and the flowing lava from Kilauea volcano, said the lava flow could spell the end of the plant's operation.


Earlier this month, Gebbie, a carpenter, told CNN he had lived in the community for more than a decade and built his home himself over the past three years.

On Tuesday, it was shooting a fountain of lava 200 feet above ground level and creating volcanic glass in the areas downwind. And in addition to volcanic particles that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, residents were warned to be on the lookout for Pele's hair, a reference to the Hawaiian goddess of fire.

The road they're working to uncover is known as Chain of Craters-Kalapana Road, and has been covered by lava for 41 years out of the 53 years it has existed, the release said.

Workers have started to dig out a new evacuation route but that could take weeks.

Back then, Gebbie acknowledged that Hawaii's residents had to deal with lava.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos.

It could be a while before power returns.

"All residents of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots are advised to evacuate and complete their evacuation by 6:00 p.m., tomorrow, Friday, June 1", emergency officials say, "or risk the possibility of being isolated". Exact timing depends on the ongoing lava activity.

Authorities have now ordered the mandatory evacuation of a 17-block swath of the Leilani Estates subdivision.

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