Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Claims More Than Two Dozen Homes

Road closed at Kahukai Street and Leilani Avenue in Leilani Estates as a precaution after cracks were found on the road. PC Mike Enriquez

Road closed at Kahukai Street and Leilani Avenue in Leilani Estates as a precaution after cracks were found on the road. PC Mike Enriquez

From the air, lines of smoke show where lava is flowing through the Leilani Estates as homes continue to burn.

At least 26 homes have been destroyed and more than 1,700 people have had to seek refuge with friends and relatives or in shelters since the Kilauea volcano entered a risky new pattern of instability on Thursday.

Hawaii's Big Island is dealing with the aftermath of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano and a 6.9 magnitude quake on May 4.

A new fissure spewed lava up to 230 feet into the air and new cracks opened on a highway in the Leilani Estates area, about a dozen miles from where the Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a statement on Saturday. "You must be prepared to leave areas if required".

Neighbors of Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano no doubt went scrambling for their homeowner or renter's insurance policies to see if they were covered from all the fire brimstone besetting them, but likely found no mention of lava creeping into their homes.

Geologists said the activity looked like an event in 1955 when eruptions continued for 88 days in the area and covered around 1.600 hectares with lava. As molten rock moved underground from the collapsed lava-filled crater in the East Rift Zone to a lower elevation, the moving magma increased pressure in the entire area, Stovall said.

Volcanic gases at Lanipuna Gardens meant residents did not have access to that neighborhood, it said.

Sulfur dioxide emissions are also a concern - Vox cited the Civil Defense Agency as calling the gas "a threat to all who become exposed".

The destructive tear of this volcanic eruption isn't over yet.

American Red Cross have estimated that 250 people and 90 pets spent Saturday night at a shelter.

"It is true that the spirit of ALOHA is alive and well", she said.

Still, there's more to come.

Montoya, her husband and daughter don't know how long they will be away from the three-story octagonal house they built almost 20 years ago in a patch of "raw jungle".

Gary McMillan said his home is about 3,000 feet (914 meters) from one of the fissures in Leilani Estates. But when he saw lava tear through the streets near his Leilani Estates home, he knew he needed to leave. Leilani Estates, a subdivision in the mostly rural district of Puna, is at greatest risk.

Almost 30 years ago, lava slowly covered an entire town, Kalapana, over the period of about a year.

"I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode", she said.

Sonner was at work this week when she heard that lava had erupted in her neighborhood.

Kilauea is among the most active volcanoes in the world, according to the United States Geological Survey, and "may even top the list".

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