Volcanic lava buries two housing tracts on Hawaii's Big…

A fish-eye view of a lava delta filling the former Kapoho Bay at the town of Kapoho on the island of Hawaii

A fish-eye view of a lava delta filling the former Kapoho Bay at the town of Kapoho on the island of Hawaii

The number of homes and structures destroyed by lava on Hawaii's Big Island has jumped to almost 600 - making the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in modern state history, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday.

Lava flows across a highway on the outskirts of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.

The lava destroyed over 600 houses in Hawaii and poured in low-laying neighbourhoods of Hawaii.

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The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued almost nonstop over three decades.

That latest toll of property losses from Kilauea's ongoing upheaval, which entered its 35th day on Wednesday, far surpasses the 215 structures destroyed by lava during all 35 years of the volcano's last eruption cycle, which began in 1983.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and thousands of people displaced.

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Late Thursday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that fissure 8 "is very active and producing a large channelized flow that has filled in Kapoho Bay". A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles. Sitting above an active lava lake, the erupting Kilauea has now covered almost 8 square miles of land with molten rock, with ash plumes rising overhead to 30,000 feet high.

It won't look like the farmland that dominates that region of the Big Island anytime soon.

A small ohia tree was observed by a National Park Service employee during of a tour of a two-year-old inactive flow in Kalapana last week.

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Explosive activity at the shield volcano on the country's Big Island has had a dramatic impact on the surrounding landscape.

Many homeowners are unable to access their homes as the lava damaged the properties.

"So if you combine the three of them (Kapoho, Vacationland and Leilani), we're talking about 600 homes", he told reporters.

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