Above photo beautifully shows the spatter cone, lava fountain within, and the lava river tumbling through the wall.
Officially this eruption has claimed 617 houses, but the total in reality is higher. Many "homes" don't qualify as houses, so they don't get counted. Many homes aren't on the county tax map, thus not always being counted. Many more structures have also been destroyed -- barns, sheds, greenhouses, livestock shelters, garages, etc. Miles of fencing, plus their fence gates are gone. Around 9000 acres have been covered in lava. And about 9 square miles of new lava land has been created. The toll of possessions lost can never be accurately tallied. There is simply too much lost to be recalled.
This eruption gives all the appearance of continuing for a while. Below is another view of fissure 8 and dramatizes just how close the eruption is to people's houses. Yes, it opened right in the middle of a housing development.
Meanwhile, up at Kilauea summit, things have not been quiet. Hundreds of earthquakes occur all day long, many large enough to be felt locally. Halema'uma'u is collapsing into itself, dragging the crater walls into the hole along with surrounding portions of the main caldera. Tiny Halema'uma'u, which at one time I considered to be huge, is now massive and still enlarging. It presently compasses 9+ acres in the corner of the large caldera. Every day it grows larger, becoming an impressive pit crater. How amazing it has been to watch a pit crater being born!!
The summit activity has more or less settled into a cycle of deflation and explosion. A small steam & ash explosion occurs around every 24 hours. People have become accustomed to the 24 hour cycle so much that they get on edge when it's overdue. The last few explosions have carried very little ash, generally just affecting the Ka'u desert, Kapapala Ranch, and Wood Valley areas. Other areas on Ka'u are getting only the merest dusting.
Above shows the tiltmeter graft for the past week. The "heartbeat" of Halema'uma'u. People here check the daily tiltmeter readings to guess when the next explosion will occur.
How will the summit eruption end? We still don't know.