Aug 2, 2018

Lava from Kilauea eruption has added a mile to Hawaii's coastline

Steam plumes rise as lava enters the Pacific Ocean, after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure, on Hawaii's Big Island on May 20, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Big Island is getting bigger, thanks to lava flowing into the ocean from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

The big picture: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist Janet Babb told Axios that since May, eruptions have created a "lava delta" spanning 825 acres, with between 50 and 150 cubic meters of lava entering the ocean every second. The volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983, but the recent rate is unprecedented; until May, the land added by lava totaled just 500 acres.

Go deeper: In a new report on the landmass additions, the USGS explains that some lava deltas have a hard time solidifying and staying attached to land because there is a steep offshore slope. But this time, the area is far less steep, allowing the delta to expand and persist for longer.

Lava deltas are "notoriously unstable," Babb said, so the USGS puts out a new map every day as the terrain continues to change, and as topographic maps are updated (which happens less frequently) they will reflect the additions as well.

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This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - World