Hawaii Volcano Lava Destroys Hundreds of Homes Overnight

Hawaii Volcano Lava Destroys Hundreds of Homes Overnight

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported high levels of natural disaster activity were near Kilauea's summit late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, including a magnitude-5.5 quake at 4:32 a.m., which produced a plume of lava 1,000 feet above the summit.

About 500 homes were in the direct path of the lava, and hundreds of homes in the Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland communities were destroyed, the County of Hawaii Civil Defense told ABC News. The lava pushed into beach lots in Kapoho, which has about 350 homes and Vacationland, which has about 150.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has issued an evacuation order for residents in the area, as the acidic fumes can prove fatal if inhaled.

HONOLULU-Lava from the Kilauea volcano destroyed hundreds of homes in a mostly rural area on the Big Island of Hawaii overnight, a county spokesperson said Tuesday.

Lava has inundated most of Vacationland and has covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots.

The latest Kilauea eruption began on May 3 and has unleashed towering clouds of ash, hurled bombs of lava, and dumped rivers of molten rock into the tropical countryside, engulfing lush green landscapes and serene neighborhoods without discretion.

"It's a necessary evil".

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The destruction wrought in a matter of days in the area eclipses the number of homes destroyed in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, where the eruptions first started more than a month ago.

A color infrared satellite image shows lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption encroaching a residential area in Kapoho Bay, Hawaii, on Monday.

Lava flows have knocked out telephone and power lines, causing widespread communication outages, and forced the shutdown of a geothermal energy plant that normally provides about a quarter of the island's electricity.

Pomerleau said all of the vacation homes he did handyman work for are gone.

Those who live or vacation in the area were mourning the loss of popular tide-pools where kids enjoyed swimming. "It's hard because obviously a lot of people have lost a lot more than just a attractive place to visit and memories".

"I've been crying a lot", she said.

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