Hawaii Has a Brand New Peninsula

Lava flows have added 700 acres of new land in all
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2018 2:34 PM CDT
Hawaii Has a Brand New Peninsula
This photo shows where lava from Kilauea Volcano is entering the ocean at Kapoho.   (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

If there's an upside to the ongoing and dangerous eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, it's perhaps plenty of new land. Lava flowing from fissures on the Big Island has expanded the coastline by some 700 acres, the equivalent of more than 500 football fields, reports CBS News. At least one new peninsula is believed to have formed near the town of Kapoho in the last few days. Per the Washington Post, a tiny island roughly 20 feet by 30 feet materialized Thursday, perhaps as a result of underwater pressure pushing a submarine lava flow to the surface. The land mass has since joined up with the rest of the Big Island, which "continues to grow larger and larger every day," per Hawaii News Now.

Though "it may very well not survive long enough to support life," University of Hawaii volcanologist Michael Garcia expects the expanded coastline to remain if the eruption continues for some time, per the Post. Lava has now covered 12.5 square miles of the island and destroyed 706 homes, per CNN and CBS, and the threat continues. A "collapse explosion event," which released energy equivalent to that of a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, that struck at Kilauea's summit around 1:45am Wednesday was followed by an increase in lava flowing from the vent known as Fissure 8. It "produced a small overflow threatening homes on Nohea street and additional overflows downstream on both sides of the channel," according to the US Geological Survey. (More Hawaii stories.)

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