Hundreds More Hawaii Homes Destroyed as Lava Surge Fills Coastal Bay

Hundreds More Hawaii Homes Destroyed as Lava Surge Fills Coastal Bay

Four weeks have passed since the first eruption rocked Hawaii's Big Island and lava continues oozing from volcanic fissures, burning homes to the ground and turning into rivers of molten rock.

Hundreds of oceanfront homes have been destroyed by lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, officials said Tuesday.

The latest estimates-up to 80 more structures destroyed by lava than previously counted-could bring the total number of homes and other buildings lost over the past month to almost 200. He said the area is a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences. Mr. Marzo said that "a'ā", a type of flow involving broken lava blocks called clinkers, had covered the entirety of Kapoho Bay.

The latest two communities affected by the lava flow had been ordered evacuated beforehand and there were no immediate reports of any casualties. Emergency management officials estimated that hundreds of homes in those subdivisions were destroyed by lava in addition to the dozens of homes destroyed in the Leilani Estates neighborhood in nearby Puna.

There were about 500 homes in the Kapoho area.

Barbara McDaniel, a retiree who moved with her husband to Vacationland from Washington state five years ago, said they fled as soon as evacuations began, taking little else but their dog and cat with them. Kim and Okabe live in Hilo, the county's seat, which is more than an hour drive from the Kapoho area.

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They didn't expect the lava flow to head their way.

"This could go on for months", she said.

"I left a lot of things behind because I didn't want to feel as if I was abandoning my home", Rahmer said.

Those who live or vacation in the area were mourning the loss of popular tide-pools where kids enjoyed swimming.

Thousands have been evacuated from the area, but officials fear that up to a dozen residents who chose to stay could be dead.

Officials are still working to get an accurate count of damaged structures, but a flight by the U.S. Geological Survey shows blackened lava inundating a section of coastline that was once covered with lush forest and dotted by homes. The lava pushed into beach lots in Kapoho, which has about 350 homes and Vacationland, which has about 150. "And I don't know what to do", she said.

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