Lava shooting out of the ground after last week’s eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has now destroyed at least five homes, authorities said, and some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated say they doubt they’ll be able to return to their residences anytime soon.
“I have no idea how soon we can get back,” said Todd Corrigan, a resident of the Leilani Estates subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island that has been affected by the eruption and subsequent earthquakes.
He said he and his wife left 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.
The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said eight vents, each several hundred yards long, have opened in the neighborhood since Thursday. By late Saturday the fissures had quieted down and were only releasing steam and gas.
The fissures are vents through which lava is emitted from the volcano.
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The Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday. The area has also been affected by extremely high levels of sulfur gas, and by several earthquakes, including one that hit on Friday at a magnitude of 6.9.
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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirmed that the eruption was ongoing and that the “active volcanic vents are located on Makamae, Kaupili, Mohala, Kahukai Streets and Pohoiki Road,” according to an update from Hawaii County. The two most recent vents opened near Makamae and Leilani, and on Kahukai Street, the update said.
Aerial footage provided by the Hawaii Army National Guard showed smoke plumes and the lava flow as it snaked through the trees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.