Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes

May 6, 2018 by Caleb Jones And Audrey Mcavoy
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
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)

The number of homes destroyed by lava shooting out of openings in the ground created by Hawaii's Kilauea volcano climbed to nine Sunday as some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time.

"I have no idea how soon we can get back," said Todd Corrigan, who left his in Leilani Estates with his wife on Friday as lava burst through the ground three or four blocks from their home. They spent the night on the beach in their car and began looking for a vacation rental.

Hawaii County civil defense officials said two new fissures opened overnight, bringing the total to nine that opened in the neighborhood since Thursday. U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said that with the two new fissures, the total was 10, though one of the new ones had already stopped producing lava.

Scientists said Kilauea was likely to release more lava through additional vents, but they were unable to predict exactly where. Leilani Estates, a subdivision in the mostly rural district of Puna, is at greatest risk. Authorities ordered more than 1,700 residents to evacuate from there and nearby Lanipuna Gardens.

Hundreds of small earthquakes continued to rumble through the area Saturday, one day after a magnitude-6.9 temblor hit—the largest earthquake to hit Hawaii in more than 40 years. Magma moving through Kilauea set off the earthquakes, said geologists, who warned of aftershocks.

Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
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)

Authorities cautioned sulfuric gas pouring out of the vents also posed dangers, particularly to elderly and people with respiratory problems. Hawaii County civil defense officials said conditions permitting, some residents will be able to return home briefly to pick up medicine and vital documents or take care of pets.

Tesha "Mirah" Montoya, 45, said the threat of toxic fumes wasn't enough to make her family evacuate, but the tipping point was the earthquakes.

"I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode," she said. "The earthquake was what made us start running and start throwing guinea pigs and bunnies in the car."

Montoya, her husband and daughter don't know how long they will be away from the three-story octagonal house they built nearly 20 years ago in a patch of "raw jungle."

Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Lava glows from a vent on a lava bed at the Leilani Estates, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Pahoa, Hawaii. The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said eight volcanic vents opened in the Big Island residential neighborhood of Leilani Estates since Thursday. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"My heart and soul's there," she said in a phone interview from a cabin on the north side of the Big Island, where the family had hunkered down. "I'm nothing without the land. It's part of my being."

Gary McMillan said his home is about 3,000 feet (914 meters) from one of the fissures in Leilani Estates. He monitored remote cameras set up in his home and said his home was still intact.

He's living out of his van with his wife at the nearby community center and constantly thinks about things they left behind, but understands why authorities evacuated residents.

"I was a critical care nurse for 37 years, so I understand the health implications and the dangers involved," McMillan said.

Lava burns across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of the world's most active volcanoes. In 2014, lava burned a house and smothered a cemetery as it approached Pahoa, the town closest to Leilani Estates. But this flow stalled just before it reached Pahoa's main road.

Nearly 30 years ago, slowly covered an entire town, Kalapana, over the period of about a year.

Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Fumes come out of cracks on the asphalt road near the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. Lava spurted from volcanic vents, toxic gas filled the air and strong earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.9 temblor on Friday, rocked an already jittery population. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Volcanic fumes closed a road near the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. Lava spurted from volcanic vents, toxic gas filled the air and strong earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.9 temblor on Friday, rocked an already jittery population. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Lava from the Kilauea volcano moves across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Burned out vegetation is seen on the side of the road in Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. Lava spurted from volcanic vents, toxic gas filled the air and strong earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.9 temblor on Friday, rocked an already jittery population. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Ti leaves on branches stand as a sacred offering in the cracks in roads at the Leilani Estates, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Pahoa, Hawaii. The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said eight volcanic vents opened in the Big Island residential neighborhood of Leilani Estates since Thursday. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
This Saturday, May 5, 2018, web image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, Halemaʻumaʻu is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across and about 85 m (~280 ft) deep. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
This Saturday, May 5, 2018, web image is from a temporary research camera positioned on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater from the North Rim looking into the crater. This image is from a temporary research camera positioned on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking into the crater. The current crater is about 250 m (~275 yds) across. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Resident Sam Knox rides his bicycle to the edge of the road as lava burns across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Fallen cable lines are seen on the road as lava burns in Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Resident Sam Knox, 65, rides his bicycle to the edge of the road as lava burns across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow. Lava spurted from volcanic vents, toxic gas filled the air and strong earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.9 temblor on Friday, rocked an already jittery population. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Residents from the lava affected areas attend a community meeting at Pahoa High School, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Pahoa, Hawaii. Community leaders, scientists, and local authorities answers questions about the lava eruption and evacuation plans. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
Residents from the lava affected areas of the Big Island hold a prayer before the start of a community meeting with local authorities at Pahoa High School, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys 9 homes
This Friday, May 4, 2018, aerial image released by the U.S. Geological Survey, at 12:46 p.m. HST, a column of robust, reddish-brown ash plume occurred after a magnitude 6.9 South Flank of Kīlauea earthquake shook the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano sent more lava into Hawaii communities Friday, a day after forcing more than 1,500 people to flee from their mountainside homes, and authorities detected high levels of sulfur gas that could threaten the elderly and people with breathing problems. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

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SwamiOnTheMountain
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2018
Guess it's time to sacrifice a virgin.

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