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Kilauea eruption: As many as 700 homes destroyed on Hawaii's Big Island
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Kilauea eruption: As many as 700 homes destroyed on Hawaii's Big Island

VIDEO: Kilauea Volcano Continues to Erupt

Kilauea eruption: As many as 700 homes destroyed on Hawaii's Big Island

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate over the past month as Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues erupting, spewing rivers of lava and molten rock over rural districts on the Big Island.

>> Read more trending news

Here are the latest updates:

Update 11 a.m. EDT June 12: Officials believe that as many as 700 homes have been destroyed as lava continues to flow on Hawaii's Big Island since the eruption of the Kilauea volcano began on May 3, according to Hawaii News Now.

"There a lot of desperation out there, a lot of tears. A lot of what now?" Big Island Mayor Harry Kim said Monday at a news conference.

Bob Fenton, an administrator for FEMA, told Hawaii News Now on Monday that he was "amazed at the amount of devastation" caused by the eruption after taking a flight over areas ravaged by lava.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warned early Tuesday that another small explosion took place at Kilauea's summit.

The earthquakes that preceded the explosion were "widely felt in the Volcano area," officials said.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned residents to be wary of ash fallout as a result of the eruption.

Update 5:02 a.m. EDT June 8: Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said lava from Kilauea has destroyed more than 600 homes since early last month. That total includes about 320 homes in Kapoho and all of the homes in Vacationland, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported.

Meanwhile, some of the parking lots outside some evacuation shelters in Puna have been transformed into tent villages, Hawaii News Now reported.

Update 11:00 p.m. EDT June 7: Since Mount Kilauea started erupting on May 3, lava has destroyed more than 400 homes. Now it seems molten rock has also destroyed a 400-year-old lake, which vanished over the weekend, according to Hawaii News Now.

Green Lake, also known as Ka Wai a Pele, was Hawaii's largest freshwater natural resource and a favorite swimming spot for Islanders. Now it’s gone.

Officials said the lake disappeared after lava entered the water basin, turning the lake water into steam and leaving in its place a lake of lava.

Update 3:15 p.m. EDT June 6: Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory shared a photo Wednesday of lava flows covering Kapoho Bay and Vacationland and warned that a fissure opened by the ongoing Kilauea eruption was “still very active.”

 

"It's a slow-moving flow. Nothing stops it," Talmadge Magno, administrator for Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, told Hawaii News Now. "The volcano is going strong."

The news station reported that there are at least 350 homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and 140 in Vacationland. Authorities believe a majority of those homes have been lost, according to Hawaii News Now.

"It's saddening. It's disheartening to see it go like that," Jason Hill, whose father lives in Kapoho, told Hawaii News Now. "The anxiety lies in what happens next."

Update 5:45 a.m. EDT June 6: Hundreds of homes have been destroyed on Hawaii’s Big Island after lava “completely filled Kapoho Bay, inundated most of Vacationland and covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots,” The Associated Press reported late Tuesday.

That’s in addition to the 117 homes that were destroyed previously, officials said.

Read more here.

 

Update 11:05 p.m. EDT June 4: Lava has burned down 117 homes over the past four weeks as Kilauea continues its powerful upheaval with no end in site, Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder told The Associated Press

It has been hard for authorities to keep track of the number of structures that have burned because it was hard to tell the difference between homes and other structures from aerial surveys, the AP reported.

 

Update 9:25 a.m. EDT June 4: Kilauea summit was rocked by a 5.5 earthquake, the Hawaii County Civil Defense announced. The quake sent an ash plume 8,000 feet in the air, CNN reported

There was no tsunami warning, but officials said that the earthquake will affect the volcano and warned of aftershocks.

There were 500 earthquakes in the area over 24-hours this weekend, CNN reported.

Update 3 p.m. EDT June 3: The National Guard told Hawaii News Now that the Honolulu Fire Department evacuated three people Sunday morning by helicopter after lava flows stranded them in an isolated area of Kapoho and Vacationland.

No injuries were reported, according to the news station.

 

Update 12:45 p.m. EDT June 3: Officials at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that “vigorous lava eruptions” continued Sunday morning in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

A map shared one day earlier by USGS officials showed lava moving toward the coast, cutting some residents off from the rest of the Big Island. 

 

Officials said that lava was flowing about 500 yards from the Kapoho tidepools Sunday morning. The flow front was about half a mile wide.

Update 8:13 a.m. EDT June 3: Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials warned residents to evacuate or risk being cut off by the hot lava, CNN reported. There was no power, cell reception, landlines or county water, officials said.

Authorities planned to airlift people out of the area if lava spreads farther and endangers the holdouts, CNN reported.

More than 80 structures have been destroyed in the eruption that started May 3. It has since inundated almost 325 acres around Kilauea with lava and led to concerns about laze, a toxic mixture of lava and haze that forms when hot lava hits ocean waters.

>> What is laze? Hawaii volcano lava reaches the Pacific Ocean

Update 7:14 a.m. EDT June 3: The fissure 8 flow continues to advance into the Kapoho Crater, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported.

 

Update 9:14 p.m. EDT June 2: Seven people were cited for loitering disaster zone and will have to appear in court, according to KHNL.

The people were in lower Puna Friday night, where mandatory evacuation orders are in place.  

Update 3:52 p.m. EDT June 2: Mandatory evacuations are underway in Hawaii Island’s Leilani Estates neighborhood  as "vigorous lava eruptions" threaten more homes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

The order issued by Mayor Harry Kim on Thursday states those who stay do so at their own risk and may not be rescued by first responders. 

“They are being asked to leave. Period,” county spokeswoman Janet Snyder told reporters.

 

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT May 23: Officials said all 11 wells at Puna Geothermal Venture’s plant on Hawaii’s Big Island had been successfully plugged by Tuesday as lava continued to inch toward the plant, Hawaii News Now reported.

“The well field at PGV is essentially safe,” Hawaii Emergency Management Administrator Thomas Travis said, according to the news station. “The probability of anything happening if lava enters the well field is very, very low. They should feel pretty comfortable that there should be no untoward events from Puna Geothermal, assuming the lava doesn't change its pattern or flow."

Reuters reported Monday that workers were scrambling to plug the plant’s wells to avoid an “uncontrollable release of toxic gasses.”

Update 4:37 p.m. EDT May 22: Lava continued to flow Tuesday on Hawaii's Big Island, creating toxic laze as it hit ocean waters. 

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said a majority of the lava was flowing Tuesday from a trio of fissures that have opened in recent days.

   

Update 11:56 a.m. EDT May 22: The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released video Tuesday of lava hitting the ocean one day earlier, creating a toxic laze plume.

 

Laze is formed when lava enters the ocean, setting off a series of chemical reactions and cooling the lava until it transforms into glass, which shatters, according to USGS officials. It creates white clouds of steam that contain toxic gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass. 

Update 10:18 a.m. EDT May 22: Officials with the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency warned Tuesday of another “explosive eruption” at Kilauea’s summit

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported the explosion around 3:45 a.m.

“The resulting ash plume may affect the surrounding areas,” officials warned. “The wind may carry the ash plume to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu and Waiohinu.”

Authorities said the biggest hazard from Tuesday’s early morning eruption is likely to be ash fallout. Residents were asked to stay indoors and keep windows closed.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials warned in an update Monday afternoon that "additional explosions (are) possible at any time" on Kilauea's summit.

 

Update 11:15 p.m. EDT May 21: Lava is flowing toward a geothermal power plant on Hawaii’s Big Island as Mount Kilauea continues its violent eruptions.

Reuters is reporting that workers are scrambling to shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant to prevent the “uncontrollable release of toxic gases.”

The plant provides about 25 percent of the Big Island’s power, but has been closed since the volcanic eruptions started on May 3.

 

Update 12:35 p.m. EDT May 21: Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said early Monday that a small explosion happened just before 1 a.m. local time at the Halemaumau crater at Kilauea's summit.

The explosion shot ash about 7,000 feet into the air.

"Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time," USGS officials said.

The Hawaiian County Civil Defense Agency warned residents to be aware of ashfall after the "explosive eruption."

Update 12:38 p.m. May 20: Lava from the Kilauea volcano has crossed Highway 137 and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said Sunday. A second lava flow is about 437 yards from the highway, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported.

Big Island residents may now have to contend with laze -- a mixture of lava and haze -- that forms when hot lava hits the ocean, CNN reported.

After making contact with the water, the laze sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

Laze can lead to lung, eye and skin irritation, CNN reported.

"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote on its website.

Officials have told people to avoid areas where lava meets the ocean, CNN reported.

Powerful eruptions accompanied by thunderous booms punctuated the air Friday around Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The volcano spewed lava bombs the size of cows as molten rock flowed from several of the 22 fissures that have opened around the volcano. 

   

Update 2 a.m. EDT May 19: Fast-moving lava isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters, the Star-Advertiser of Honolulu reported.

According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, police, firefighters and National Guard troops were stopping people from entering the area.

Update 11:30 p.m. EDT May 18: Hawaiian authorities have sent the National Guard, police and fire units into the East Rift Zone in Puna, according to the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency.

“There are approximately 40 homes in the area that are isolated. Officials are gaining access by helicopter to the area to assess how many people are there and if they need assistance. All persons in that area are asked to stay where they are and wait for further instructions,” the agency said on its website.

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has confirmed another fissure opened on Friday, bringing the total number of fissures to 22. 

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as Kilauea continues its violent eruptions.

Update 8:30 a.m. EDT May 18:  More lava is spewing 

from the Kilauea volcano as the 21st fissure opened Thursday, CNN reported.

 

Meanwhile, state officials have been handing out masks to protect people who live near Kilauea, ABC News reported. About 18,000 masks have been distributed, CNN reported. The safety measure protects residents from breathing in pieces of rock, glass and crystals that fall as the volcano continues to erupt, ABC News reported.

Update 10:45 p.m. EDT May 17: Lava is erupting from points along the fissure system on Kilauea volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but the agency is calling it a “low-level eruption” at this point. 

 

Although lava is still spattering from Fissure 17, the flow has not advanced significantly over the past day, the USGS said.

There are currently 18 fissures that have opened due to seismic activity on Kilauea’ over the past two weeks. 

Volcanic gas emission are still elevated throughout the area and residents are urged to remain on alert. 

“This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area,” the USGS reported late Thursday

Rain on the Big Island Thursday helped the situation with the ashfall, but volcano experts are warning the situation on Kilauea is  still very dynamic.

Original report: Several schools were closed as ash continued to fall Thursday due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels. Officials warned people in the area to take shelter and protect themselves from the falling ash.

>> Here's how to help victims of Hawaii volcano, earthquakes

"The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area," officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in a 5 a.m. alert. In a subsequent update, USGS officials said the ash plume was moving to the northeast.

The plume could be seen in an image taken from a webcam at the USGS’ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

 

"Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves," the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned.

Michelle Coombs, of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now that the situation remained “very, very active and very dynamic,” on Thursday.

“The potential for larger explosions is still there,” she said.

Officials with the USGS warned Tuesday that an eruption of Kilauea's volcano appeared "imminent."

>> Red alert declared on Hawaii’s Big Island; major Kilauea eruption ‘imminent’

The eruption on Kilauea began May 3. It has since forced thousands of people from their homes, destroyed nearly 40 structures -- including dozens of homes -- and created more than two dozen fissures in the ground surrounding the volcano.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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Norman Long claimed that he had gone to pick up dinner and came home to find that his wife had apparently drowned in the pool. “According to an investigator’s affidavit of probable cause, Norman Long and neighbors were at poolside when the investigator arrived at 8:35 p.m. (that night), performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Michelle Long,” a 2017 news release from prosecutors said. “Norman Long ‘became combative’ while CPR was being administered and had to be restrained, the neighbors said.” A small dog was also found dead in the water.  Michelle Long’s autopsy showed that she had not drowned but instead died of blunt force trauma. Her death was ruled a homicide, prosecutors said.  Investigators spent just over six weeks investigating Michelle Long’s killing before arresting Norman Long on Aug. 1, 2017. He was charged with first-degree murder for “using physical force to cause blunt head and neck trauma” to his wife, the news release said. “It was a violent attack by him,” Gloucester County prosecutor Sean Dalton said during Norman Long’s first court appearance in August, NBC10 in Philadelphia reported. “The medical examiner found that there was bruising on her hands, consistent with defensive wounds. There was a struggle.” He was also charged with concealing evidence by “disposing (of) paper towels containing the blood of Michelle Long in the kitchen trashcan” and obstructing justice by throwing the blood-stained towels away and putting his wife’s body in the swimming pool, prosecutors said.  According to NJ.com, investigators believe Michelle Long may have been planning to leave her husband of 15 years. The last search she did on her computer, just minutes before her death, was a search for houses.  “This is what happened as a result of him finding out about that,” Dalton said during Long’s August appearance, NBC10 reported.  A timeline of the crime given in court last August alleged that Norman Long said his wife was on the computer when he left between 6:30 and 7 p.m. to pick up dinner at Applebee’s, NJ.com reported then. Prosecutors argued, however, that the timeline did not correspond with evidence. Michelle Long’s search for homes ended at 6:11 p.m., prosecutors said.  Surveillance footage from a nearby business’s security camera showed Norman Long driving by a carwash and then heading back home before going to Applebee’s, where the restaurant’s own footage shows him inside from 7:15 to 7:37 p.m., NJ.com reported. 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He was quiet once he was in the courtroom, the news station reported.  Michelle Long’s daughter, Brittany Maguire, said at the time of her stepfather’s arrest that her family was torn apart. “She was definitely the best mom, and she did not deserve this at all,” Maguire said during a news conference attended by NJ.com reporters. “We are all broken without her.” Since Michelle Long’s death, her mother and her daughters have partnered with a company called ROAR for Good, which makes a wearable personal safety device that, if activated by the touch of a button, shares the user’s location via text to a previously chosen list of contacts. It is designed to let people know if a loved one is in danger.  It can also emit a high-frequency alarm to scare away assailants, NJ.com reported. The family sells the devices, inscribed with Long’s nickname, “Chel,” on a website they created called guardianangelchel.com.  “We wanted to direct our energy into something positive, meaningful, and honor my daughter's life and leave a lasting legacy for her,' her mother, Susan Direso, told NJ.com last year. 'Chel was my joy, my little girl, and to lose her in such a brutal way broke my heart forever. This mission to help at-risk victims gives us a purpose to turn our tragedy into a meaningful project.”
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Washington Insider

  • As Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted a report to the U.S. Attorney General on Friday concerning the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, many questions remain unanswered about what Mueller had uncovered, what legal actions still must take place related to the investigation, and just how much of the report that lawmakers in Congress will be able to review in coming months. Even before the contents of the Mueller report - initially described as 'comprehensive' - were known, there were certainly metrics for the Special Counsel investigation, which netted a series of guilty pleas, and one trial conviction, that of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on charges of tax and bank fraud. Court filings by the Special Counsel's office demonstrated a sweeping effort by Russian Intelligence agents to hack emails and other documents from Democratic Party officials in the U.S., and showed how a number of people with ties to the President lied to Mueller's investigators when asked about their links to certain Russians under scrutiny by the feds. 1. Will the Congress actually get to see the Mueller report? This is not as simple as it might seem, as the Special Counsel law does not guarantee that the Congress will get the details of the Russia findings. The decision on how much is shared with the Congress - and whether it can be shared with the public - is first up to the Attorney General William Barr. Under the law, Barr is supposed to review the report, and then send a summary to lawmakers, something he may do as soon as this weekend. But that's not the Mueller report. And it's clear that members of both parties want to read it. 2. What about the Mystery Case? Even while the Special Counsel is closing down his work, it doesn't mean the loose ends are just going to vanish into thin air. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court was considering on Friday - just hours before the Mueller report was submitted - whether or not to grant a hearing on a case involving an unknown foreign company owned by an unidentified foreign country which has been subpoenaed for the Mueller investigation. If the trial for Roger Stone is going to continue, then why wouldn't the legal wrangling over 'Country A' go on as well? Just one of the many unknowns at this point. 3. What about other federal prosecutors? As we have seen during the Mueller investigation, the Special Counsel at times farmed out certain cases to U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District of New York, or the Eastern District of Virginia. Could those matters - emerging from the Mueller investigation - still continue even after the Special Counsel is playing golf in coming weeks? That's also a big unknown. Certainly, it's always been a fervent hope of Democrats that something happens along those lines - but there's definitely no guarantee. 4. Will we ever hear from Robert Mueller? Unlike Watergate, unlike the Monica Lewinsky investigation, Robert Mueller has not made any public comments or held press conferences. It has probably driven both the White House and Democrats absolutely batty to see him be so quiet. Some Democrats have already suggested that Mueller be called before the Congress to testify on what he found, just like Independent Counsel Ken Starr was given the chance to outline his findings before the House Judiciary Committee against President Clinton in 1998. 5. There still is a lot going on in the 'Mueller' probe. I don't want to belabor this point, but even with Mueller on the golf course, lots of legal wrangling will have to continue on an array of fronts. A judge must still give former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn his sentence. Roger Stone's trial doesn't start until November. Paul Manafort's aide Rick Gates is still cooperating with the feds and has not been sentenced as yet. Andrew Miller - an associate of Roger Stone - is still being asked to testify before a federal grand jury. So, even with Mueller's report now filed - and even before we know the details - the impact of the Mueller investigation isn't 'over' - so to speak. 6. Waiting on the details. We still don't know what's in the Mueller report. And yet, everyone on the news is talking about it. I've been counseling for months about this investigation that one should wait to see actual documents before marching off to any conclusions. The same can be said of the Mueller probe. Has Mueller delivered total exoneration for the President? We really don't know. While Mueller's office won't be delivering more indictments, could more be in the pipeline? We don't know. Will this report recommend impeachment, or be silent on that issue? We don't know. If this was like the Starr Report, we would have all of the information. Instead, we have to wait.