From earthquakes to seeping lava, Hawaii’s Big Island has seen plenty from nature since the first eruptions of Kilauea volcano. And the lava keeps spewing, swallowing homes and igniting fears of more destruction to come.
Here’s what the disaster looks like, by the numbers:
Since May 4, there have been more than 12,000 earthquakes, according to US Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb. The quakes can be felt right near the Kilauea summit, Babb said.
The Big Island usually gets its fair share of quakes. But activity in the last 30 days has far outpaced its historical monthly average of 1,000.
The biggest was a 6.9-magnitude temblor on May 4.
The tallest ash plume at the summit of Kilauea volcano reached 30,000 feet above sea level, the USGS says.
‘Hundreds’ of homes
At least 117 homes had earlier been reported destroyed in the four weeks since lava began flowing, according to Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. Overnight Monday, “hundreds” more were destroyed in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, said Janet Snyder, a Hawaii Civil Defense Service spokeswoman.
The number is sure to grow because assessments aren’t finished, Magno said.
7.7 square miles
About 7.7 square miles are covered by lava, which is about 0.2% of Hawaii Island, according to the USGS.
The highest lava fountain measured so far has reached 250 feet.
That’s a lot of lava, but flow volumes can be extraordinarily difficult to measure, the USGS said.