Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii

May 7, 2018 by Caleb Jones, Jennifer Peltz And Sophia Yan
Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
This May 6, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the lava lake at the summit of Kilauea near Pahoa, Hawaii. Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has destroyed homes and forced the evacuations of more than a thousand people. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed 26 homes since it began spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air last week, and residents who evacuated don't know how long they might be displaced.

The decimated homes were in the Leilani Estates subdivision, where , toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the volcano. Another four unspecified structures were covered by lava, officials said in revised figures issued Sunday.

Some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated were allowed to briefly return to gather medicine, pets, and other necessities. They will be able to do so each day as long as authorities believe it is safe.

Amber Makuakane Kane, 37, a teacher and single mother of two, said her three-bedroom house in Leilani Estates was across from a fissure that opened Friday. At the time, "there was some steam rising from all parts of the yard, but everything looked fine," Makuakane said.

On Saturday, she received alerts from her security system that motion sensors throughout the house had been triggered. She later confirmed that lava had covered her property.

Makuakane grew up in the area and lived in her house for nine years. Her parents live in the same subdivision.

Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
In this Saturday, May 5, 2018, photo, lava burns across a road as an offering to the volcano goddess lies in the foreground in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii. Glowing plumes of lava have shot hundreds of feet into the air at points, officials said, and black-and-orange ribbons of rock have curled into roadways. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
"The volcano and the lava—it's always been a part of my life," she said. "It's devastating ... but I've come to terms with it."

Lava has spread around 387,500 square feet (36,000 square meters) surrounding the most active fissure, though the rate of movement is slow. There was no indication when the lave might stop or how far it might spread.

"There's more magma in the system to be erupted. As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue," U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said.

Cherie McArthur wondered what would become of her macadamia nut farm in Lanipuna Gardens, another evacuated neighborhood near Leilani Estates. One of the year's first harvests had been planned for this weekend.

Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
This photo shows some of the 1990 lava flow from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Kalapana, a town south of the Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaii. Hawaii officials said the decimated homes were in the subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the Kilauea volcano. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"If we lose our farm, we don't know where we're going to go. You lose your income and you lose your home at the same time," said McArthur, who's had the farm for about 20 years. "All you can do is pray and hope and try to get all the information you can."

About 250 people and 90 pets spent Saturday night at shelters, the American Red Cross said.

The number of lava-venting fissures in the neighborhood has grown to as many as 10, Stovall said, though some have quieted at various points. Scientists expect the fissures to keep spewing.

The lava could eventually be channeled to one powerful vent while others go dormant, as has happened in some previous Hawaii eruptions, Stovall said.

This photo shows some of the 1990 lava flow from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Kalapana, a town south of the Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaii. Hawaii officials said the decimated homes were in the subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the Kilauea volcano. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Kilauea (pronounced kill-ah-WAY'-ah), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983.

The USGS's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a notice in mid-April that there were signs of pressure building in underground magma, and a new vent could form on the cone or along what's known as the East Rift Zone. Leilani Estates sits along the zone.

The crater floor began to collapse on April 30, triggering earthquakes and pushing lava into new underground chambers that carried it toward Leilani Estates and nearby communities. On Friday, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake hit the area. It was Hawaii's largest earthquake in more than 40 years.

The quake started Michael McGuire's car rocking in his driveway, knocked things off his shelves and shattered glass in his cabinets near Leilani Estates. He hoped to check on his home Sunday but realized it was too soon to be sure when, or if, it would be safe from the .

Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
In this Saturday, May 5, 2018, photo, lava burns across a road as an offering to the volcano goddess lies in the foreground in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii. Glowing plumes of lava have shot hundreds of feet into the air at points, officials said, and black-and-orange ribbons of rock have curled into roadways. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
"I'm somewhat fatalistic. If it happens, it happens," he said. "And I'm enjoying life here, so you know, you put up with a lot of things here. This is one of them."

Noah and Laura Dawn own a retreat center about 3 miles downhill from the most active vents They were clearing out items Sunday and relocating up the coast indefinitely.

"We're just removing all things of value to us and precious things because I have the feeling it could get real—real, real fast," Noah Dawn said.

Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
Lava burns across a road in the Leilani Estates subdivision on Saturday, May 5, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. Glowing plumes of lava have shot hundreds of feet into the air at points, officials said, and black-and-orange ribbons of rock have curled into roadways. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
This Saturday, May 5, 2018, photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows Fissure 7 in Pahoa, Hawaii. At the peak of its activity, large bubble bursts occurred at one spot, lower left, in the fissure while spattering was present in other portions. The number of homes destroyed by lava shooting out of openings in the ground created by Hawaii's Kilauea volcano climbed to nine on Sunday, May 6, as some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 photo provided by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is on active duty Hawaii National Guard deployment, ash from the Puu Oo vent on Kilauea volcano rises into the air, near Pahoa, Hawaii. Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has destroyed homes and forced the evacuations of more than a thousand people. (U.S. Rep. Tusli Gabbard/National Guard via AP)
Kilauea volcano claims more than two dozen homes in Hawaii
In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 photo, a new fissure erupts in Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii. Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has destroyed homes and forced the evacuations of more than a thousand people. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

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