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Hawaii's erupting volcano hits tourism industry

The Big Island tourism board estimates $5 million worth of cancellations from May through July.

Posted: May 14, 2018 7:15 PM

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Officials say the pace of bookings for hotels and tour activities on the Big Island of Hawaii are down about 50 percent compared with previous years as an erupting volcano spews lava for a second week.

The Big Island tourism board estimates $5 million worth of cancellations from May through July. There was "an immediate impact" after the Kilauea volcano first erupted on May 3.

Tourism on the island brought in $2.5 billion in revenue last year. Board executive director Ross Birch says this is the "first leak we're seeing out of the bucket."

Authorities say the volcano has produced nearly 20 active lava fissures and destroyed more than two dozen homes.

The National Weather Service has warned residents of "light ashfall" throughout the day in the island's southernmost district after a burst of volcanic emissions.

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