A river of red has turned into a sea of smoldering molten rock, blocking the only road to Raylene Lerum’s home.
“You don’t feel right. You can’t sleep, you can’t eat,” she told NBC News. “It’s almost like you could feel the lava flowing under you.”
One resident, Julie Leialoha, told NBC News that she feels “sorry for my neighbors up the road there, it’s bad. It’s really bad.”
Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are both in a forested, remote part of the Big Island on the eastern flank of the Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting continuously since 1983.
In recent years, the volcano has mostly released lava in hard-to-reach areas inside a national park or along the coastline. But last week, vents popped open and released lava, gas and steam inside residential neighborhoods.
There’s no indication when the eruption might stop, or how far the lava might spread.
There were about 1,700 residents in Leilani Estates and a few hundred in Lanipuna Gardens before last week.
Andrew Nisbet evacuated last week and has no idea what has happened since.
“My home is right in the line of the major breakouts so maybe, maybe not.” he said Monday during a community meeting.
Authorities urged Scott Wiggers to evacuate, but he refused.
“I’m in the safest part in the subdivision. There’s no threat to my house whatsoever,” said Wiggers, a tour guide.