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Hawaii volcano’s toll nears 600 homes destroyed by lava; no end in sight

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The number of homes and structures destroyed by lava on Hawaii’s Big Island has jumped to nearly 600 — making the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in modern state history, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday.

Kim, who lost his own home to the devastating magma march that began in May, has been pushing for more funding to help thousands of displaced residents.

That help came Thursday after Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a memorandum of understanding that freed up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to the island. The money covers overtime pay for police, fire, public works and civil defense personnel. It also provides funds for equipment needed for evacuations and rebuilding.

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