Lava destroys 600 homes on Hawaii's Big Island - mayor

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Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a memorandum of understanding furnishing millions of dollars in state disaster relief to the island. It also provides funds for equipment needed for evacuations and rebuilding.

Kim, who had previously said it would take a minimum of $5 million per mile to fix roads ravaged by Kilauea, said the $12 million will help Hawaii County "focus on the critical tasks of making life better for our people affected by the eruption".

Thousands of residents have been left shell-shocked by the devastation that's been pounding the island. About 100 structures had been destroyed before the latest eruption, but about 500 homes in the communities of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland were in the direct path of the lava.

The rest of the losses have occurred in the Leilani Estates area, where the toll of destruction has been steadily rising by the day.

Approximately 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows from Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island since early last month, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said on Thursday.

Scientists said: "Beginning on June 3, lava from fissure 8 entered the ocean at Kapoho Bay".

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The areas, called frontier counties, had a suicide rate of 25.9 per 100,000 people, compared to a rate of 17.8 among all counties. That number has remained steady over recent decades, she said. "If they did, we would all respond, but that isn't how it works".

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As the lava marched toward the bay, it vaporized Hawaii's largest freshwater lake, which was hundreds of feet deep in some places.

As of early Friday 24 separate fissures covered almost 8 square miles of land in lava.

In recent days, fissure 8 is fountaining lava with heights of 150-180 feet.

Kilauea is one of five volcanoes on the Big Island and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, according to the ESA.

Lava could be seen bubbling out of the volcano's valve and into a red-hot river flowing into the Pacific Ocean in helicopter video taken on Wednesday.

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