- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Kilauea volcano continues to drown parts of Hawaii’s Big Island in lava, leaving destroyed property in its wake.

As KHON reports, the official count of destroyed homes is currently at 117, but the actual number is expected to be much higher. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim was among those to have lost property to the lava flows.

In addition to the lava flow consuming houses and land, the eruption has inundated Kapoho Bay.





Health hazards are also a concern as the lava mixes with ocean water. In a civil defense alert released Tuesday morning, the county warned residents of laze, — volcanic acid and steam mixed with “tiny glass particles.” Laze plumes can be carried unpredictably by shifting winds and can cause lung damage, as well as eye and skin irritation.

The state is also monitoring the level of sulfur dioxide, also known as volcanic smog “vog.” Despite the level of activity today, the air quality remained good in the areas near the volcano.

The Big Island of Hawai’i is the largest and youngest Hawaiian island and the only one to have active volcanoes: Kilauea, Maunaloa and the underwater Loihi.

Kilauea is the most active out of the three. The eruptions began May 3, and continued as fissures opened further into the island.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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