Drone captures lava flow from Kilauea to the sea; total so far could cover Manhattan more than 6 feet deep

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 18:03:03-04

BIG ISLAND, Hawaii - The U.S. Geological Survey released drone footage of the lava flowing from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Lava continues shooting out of the ground, as high as 150-feet in the air, then travels all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The eruption is one of the most destructive in U.S. history, though amazingly no one has been killed and only one injury has been reported.

Since May 3rd, Kilauea's lava, ash and rocks have destroyed about 600 homes, closed major highways and prompted health warnings.

It's moving fast

The eruption has spewed out enough lava to fill 45,400 Olympic-sized pools since it started, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said.

It's scalding hot

It's not just bubbling out fast, it's hot too. The eruption temperature of Kīlauea lava is a scalding 2,140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USGS.

"This is the hottest lava we've seen during this eruption," Wendy Stovall, a scientist with USGS told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now. "Lava can't get hotter than where we are."

The melting point ofsteel is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The earthquakes won't stop

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

Over the weekend, there were 500 quakes in the summit area of Kilauea in a 24-hour period -- the highest rate ever measured

Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. He told reporters on Monday that temblors are nearly continuous at the summit and that gas emissions remain "very high."

At least 12,000 earthquakes on Hawaii's Big Island in the last 30 days. The volcanic gas and ash emission could affect air quality across the central and southern half of Big Island, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze -- a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass. Residents have been warned to avoid the area.

Here are some commonly used volcanic terms