Kilauea volcano destroys 467 Hawaiian homes, officials say

Lava from the Kilauea volcano, which erupted more than a month ago, now covers 5,914 acres, or 9.24 square miles, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said Saturday.

Lava has also destroyed 467 homes, the agency said. A disaster recovery center, located inside a high school gym, and two shelters are open to the public.

Fissure 8 in the lower east rift zone is still very active and continues to flow into the ocean at Kapoho, according to reports from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Lava flowing in to the ocean can create what’s known as “laze,” a mash-up of lava and haze that occurs when hot lava hits the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

Fissure 16 is oozing lava, the observatory said, and is being monitored closely. The National Weather Service reported heavy vog, or volcanic smog, blanketing the inner and southern parts of the island.

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake centered in the summit region of Kilauea hit the island of Hawaii on Friday afternoon, the Civil Defense officials said. It was not large enough to cause a tsunami. A small ash plume, caused by the Kilauea summit ash eruption, reached 9,000 to 10,000 feet high and affected surrounding areas.