Hundreds More Hawaii Homes Destroyed as Lava Surge Fills Coastal Bay

HOLLYN JOHNSON  Tribune-Herald Lava from fissure No. 8 oozes toward Kapoho Bay on Sunday in lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Officials say the lava from Kilauea now covers almost 5,000 acres on the Big Island.

Vacationland has been completely covered by lava, and overnight the flow expanded north by 100 m within Kapoho Beach Lots. The lava pushed into beach lots in Kapoho, which has about 350 homes and Vacationland, which has about 150.

When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals.

Incredible footage shows colossal steam clouds rising from the ocean in Hawaii after lava flows from the Kilauea volcano entered the sea at Kapoho Bay. To date, the coastline has been extended 0.7 miles, and lava continues to fountain from fissure 8, the source of the flow.

410 people are staying at county shelters. The flow prompted warnings from Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

"I'm kind of at peace, actually", Johnson said of potentially losing his home of 28 years.

Thousands of people in the Puna area had to evacuate after the first fissure opened May 3.

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Kathy Emery, who evacuated from her 5-acre farm in Kapoho, told KMGB-TV she doesn't know if she has a home to go back to.

The two communities, comprising a quiet vacation spot once popular for its snorkeling and tide pools, sat at the edge of a small, shallow inlet called Kapoho Bay.

Lava from Kilauea has covered an area of almost 5,000 acres, according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

And the lava keeps spewing, swallowing homes and igniting fears of more destruction to come. Officials issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates, and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland were advised to leave last Friday (Saturday NZT) or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews. Okabe estimated there are several hundred homes in each of the two subdivisions.

Carolyn Boudreault, a Kapoho resident who is now staying in Boston with her family, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the bay was a treasured place.

"It's a attractive blue day, but it really seems eerie up there, lots and lots of ash covering areas near Jagger Museum and the earthquakes really make things seem very unsettled", she said.

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