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Lava melts Hawaiian freshwater lake

Jun. 9, 2018
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Green Lake is a major source of water for the residents of Hawaii’s Big Island. That is, until it fell to lava flows on Saturday.

At 10 A.M., lava flowed into the lake after spilling out of the Kilauea volcano. At 3 P.M., it had reportedly completely evaporated. The lava was so hot that it converted the necessary freshwater lake into a column of steam. The lake, expected never to produce water again, has now completely filled with lava. 

Hawaii Community College geography teacher Drew Kapp told local news that he “couldn't believe it" and that he's "never even heard of anything like that happening before."

Big Island has been experiencing severe upset since magma-spewing cracks in the ground began appearing all around the island a month ago. While poisonous gas and major highway shutdowns have been a recurring problem for Big Island residents, they pale in comparison to the homes that have been lost. 400 residences on the island have been swept away in the magma since fissures began appearing. Kapoho Bay, an attraction popular for its tide pools, was filled with lava on Tuesday. Overall, 7.7 square miles have been coated in lava. 

Unfortunately, Wednesday saw worse news for residents of Big Island. Kilauea's summit experienced several earthquakes, creating intense lava flow. This decimated the Vacationland neighborhood, wiping out 279 homes between the neighborhood and nearby Kapho. Another 130 homes have been lost in the Leilani Estates community. 

“I just locked my doors and walked away,” said Vacationland resident Betty Oberman to CNN, “It’s an emotional rollercoaster.”

It remains unclear when Big Island will see the end of its battle with Kilauea. According to most experts, there is more trouble coming to paradise. 

Photo by Don Smith.