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9,900 earthquakes unleashed on Hawaii Island in the last 30 days

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 20:17:48-04

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:

9,900 earthquakes

Between May 4 and Monday, there have been nearly 10,000 earthquakes, according to the US Geological Survey.

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.

30,000 feet

An ash plume rises from the Halemaumau crater within the Kilauea volcano summit caldera on May 9, 2018, at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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

Lava burns across a residential road near Pahoa, Hawaii.

About 7.7 square miles are covered by lava, which is about 0.2% of Hawaii Island, according to the USGS.

250 feet

Lava fountains as high as about 230 feet erupt from the fissure.

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.