5.5-magnitude quake reported beneath Hawaii's exploding Mt. Kilauea

Residents stranded in area of Hawaii cut off by lava | TheHill

500 More Evacuated in Hawaii as Lava Severs Road

Lava has been flowing in rural Big Island neighborhoods since fissures began opening in backyards a month ago.

The current activity has been accompanied for weeks by daily periodic explosions of gas and volcanic rock from Kilauea's summit crater as well as earthquakes.

More than 400 power poles and other equipment have been destroyed by the encroaching lava, Hawaii Electric Light Co. said.

The site marked the latest challenge facing authorities during what geologists call an unprecedented, simultaneous eruption at Kilauea's summit and from giant fissures 25 miles (40 km) down its eastern side. Overnight, it continued its rampage and destroyed hundreds of homes, a Hawaii County spokeswoman said. "They are not only putting themselves into potentially life-threatening situations, but we can't completely lock gates or erect impassable barricades in areas where people have only one way out - these are the routes loiterers are using to gain up-close access".

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A thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows on Sunday, June 3 as the flow from Fissure 8 continues to advance towards the ocean in Kapoho Bay.

Authorities say the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has destroyed at least 117 homes.

Virtually all of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland were wiped out by lava Tuesday morning, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Three people were evacuated from an isolated part of the Kapoho community Sunday, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

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When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals.

Hawaii Civil Defense warned residents to avoid contact with the "laze" steam, which can contain hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles. "This is something most of us will never see in our lifetime", he said.

The volcano erupted in early May and has resulted in thousands of evacuations and rampant destruction ever since.

"USGS was on a routine overflight and saw people on the road in an area cut off by the lava. Refusing to evacuate may put you, your family and first responders in danger".

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The monthlong eruption has claimed as much as a half of a forest reserve that's home to native birds and trees that have already been declining because of disease, state officials said.

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