Dozens of Hawaii homes destroyed by volcano eruption

The destruction, which includes 37 homes, has hit the Leilani Estates housing development on the eastern tip of the Hawaii Big Island.

On Friday, only 50 buildings had been affected and experts say they expect more homes to be flattened in coming days.

Around 2,200 acres of land have been scorched by lava since 3 May in one of the most severe disruptions caused by the volcano in a century.

Lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption crosses Kahukai Street
Image:Lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption crosses Kahukai Street
Dozens of Hawaii homes destroyed by volcano eruption
Dozens of Hawaii homes destroyed by volcano eruption

Ikaika Marzo posted a Facebook video showing Kaupuli Street and a black, glass-like lava field where his cousin’s house previously stood. He said: “There were eight houses taken on this road in 12 hours.”

Mr Marzo said he was told by a US Geological Survey (USGS) geologist there was much more to come from Kilauea.

Magma spewed from 100ft-high cinder cones and formed elevated ponds of molten rock that are expected to overflow and stream into another row of homes which have been evacuated.

USGS geologist Wendy Stovall said: “It’s this tide of lava that rises up and overflows itself on the edges and keeps rising and progressing forward.”

About 37 structures are already “lava locked” which means they are not accessible and people who do not evacuate may be trapped by lava flows.

Anyone who has failed to escape the flows, risks being hemmed in by 30ft (9m) walls of lava.

Drone footage shows the lava's path. Pic: USGS


Video:Drone footage shows Hawaii lava flows

Hawaii Country Civil defence said: “Any residents remaining in the current affected areas should evacuate now.”

Residents have also become increasingly concerned about the risk from earthquakes, with a 4.4 magnitude tremor forcing the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre to state there was no risk of a tsunami.

Meanwhile, an ash cloud sent about 10,000ft (3,048m) into the air by the volcano has led authorities to warn those living southwest of Kilauea the wind might carry ash their way.

Two high schools where youngsters are undertaking their final exams have already been affected by ash.

Though lava destruction from the volcano is confined to about a 10sq mile area, the eruption has hit the island’s tourist-driven economy as potential visitors fear falling ash or volcanic smog belching from Kilauea’s summit.


Video:Hawaiians watch lava eat their street

Ross Birch, head of the island’s tourism board, said the number of visitors to the island so far in 2018 is “trending a little bit lower” than 2017.

He said the cancellation of some port visits by cruise ships could cost $3m (£2.25m) in lost tourism.

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