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Magno said lava also crossed a highway not far from a geothermal energy conversion plant.

The destruction came after rivers of lava flowed toward the ocean over the weekend, forcing officials to knock on doors and urge residents holding out in two evacuated neighborhoods to flee right away.

Volcanic haze from Kilauea, where fallout from a massive eruption keeps threatening residents, has stretched across the Pacific and threatens residents of the Mariana Islands.

"This is the hottest lava that we've seen in this eruption, even just a matter of 50 degrees centigrade makes a big difference in how quickly lava flows can move and how they behave once the magma exits the vent", Stovall said.

At least 75 structures have been destroyed, according to Hawaii Civil Defense spokesman Talmadge Magno.

Authorities on Tuesday advised residents to minimize exposure to avoid irritation to skin and eyes and breathing problems.

On Wednesday U.S. Geological Survey officials warned fast-moving lava threatened to tear through more homes in the already ravaged communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

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The lava flow destroyed a farm where Kevin Hopkins and partners raise tropical fish and the ornamental carp known as koi.

Civil defense officials have previously said about 2,000 residents in and around Leilani Estates were displaced at the outset of the current eruption, which began on 3 May.

The lava is bubbling from a particularly violent fissure - or volcanic crack in the Earth's surface - called Fissure 8.

Earlier on Tuesday, a small explosion of ash erupted from the summit of the volcano in a vertical plume some 15,000 feet (4,600 meters) high, the U.S. Geological Survey said, the latest outburst in a month of volcanic activity. "Lava can't get hotter than where we are". They estimated violent eruptions of molten rock spewing out of a nearby fissure - Fissure 8 - were burning through anything in its path at a rate of 600 yards per hour.

Then there's the danger of vog, or volcanic smog.

"We're going to have to say no, that's not safe", the agency's volcanos account replied Monday, saying if the vent was belching volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide, the roasted marshmallows "would taste bad".

Kilauea's main crater at the volcano's summit has continued to periodically belch ash high up into the sky. The facility produces roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy supply. PGV has been the target of lawsuits challenging its location on the flank of one of the world's most active volcanoes. More than 2,000 acres of land have been smothered by lava and about 200 people are staying in emergency shelters.