Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes in new subdivisions

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava flows into Green Lake on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Kim's second home in Vacationland was added to 117 homes destroyed by lava as of the latest official count, a number Hawai'i County Civil Defense spokeswoman Janet Snyder expects to rise, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that an overflight early Tuesday confirmed that lava had completely filled Kapoho Bay, inundated most of Vacationland and had covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Kīlauea Volcano's current eruption centered in Leilani Estates on the Big Island of Hawai'i has destroyed almost 200 homes over the past day and a half. The lava pushed into beach lots in Kapoho, which has about 350 homes and Vacationland, which has about 150. Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials said they went through the neighborhood to warn residents this was their last chance to evacuate before their final escape route was cut off by lava. These were vacation homes and rentals, as well as primary residences.

Lava had filled the shallow Kapoho Bay before 2 p.m. Tuesday.

One finger of the lava poured into a small freshwater lake, boiling away all its water late on Saturday, while another finger spilled into Kapoho Bay on Sunday night, officials said.

Mt Kilauea's Fissure 8 lava fountains with heights of about 50m near Pahoa, Hawaii.

"For us it's more of a vacation area, but for those who live there permanently, they're trying to figure out where they're going to be living", he said.

Kirk Rahmer became one of dozens of people who lost their homes over the weekend, when he saw that his home of 18 years had been claimed by lava.

According to Snyder, a number of drone operators have been cited for violating the temporary flight restriction area over lava flows.

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

Not too long ago, Kapoho Bay was a picturesque vacation destination for many.

Aerial images of the half-mile wide flow hitting the sea off Kapoho also showed large plumes of "laze", a toxic steam mixed with glass fragments. Miles of charred, blackened landscape are visible behind the ocean-entry point, showing the lava flow's path of destruction from the inland fissure.

She reminisced about taking her daughter to swim in the ocean for the first time in a local swimming spot known as Champagne Ponds.

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