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Number of homes destroyed by Kilauea volcano lava flow in Hawaii jumps

Number of homes destroyed by Kilauea volcano lava flow in Hawaii jumps

Though some residents remain in Leilani Estates with lava hunters documenting the destruction, most evacuated, taking whatever prize possessions they could.

Aerial footage of volcanic vents in a residential neighborhood. At least two homes were destroyed, officials said. A magnitude-6.9 natural disaster - Hawaii's largest in more than 40 years - hit the area Friday.

The eruption comes after days of earthquakes rattled the area's Puna district.

Julie Woolsey lives on a street where a vent opened up and channeled lava to within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of her house. She let her chickens loose, loaded her dogs into her truck and evacuated with her daughter and grandson.

Kilauea (pronounced kill-ah-WAY'-ah), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983. But she thought the danger from lava was a remote possibility.

Sitting with Sugar in his lap, Walton said he's happy to take the bad with the good when it comes to living the island lifestyle: "I knew about the volcano when I moved here".

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Airport officials monitored the runways in Hilo for quake damage, and jetliners coming from the mainland carried extra fuel, so they could divert to Honolulu if the volcano becomes more active. Brad Stanfill said the lava was more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from his house but he was not allowed in because of a mandatory evacuation order.

The Hawaii Fire Department reported "extremely unsafe air quality conditions due to high levels of sulfur dioxide gas in the evacuation area", civil defense officials said on Saturday.

Breathing large amounts of sulfur dioxide can result in burning of the nose and throat, and breathing difficulties. "It kind of gets you nervous". She later confirmed that lava had covered her property.

Stenback, her daughter and grandchildren packed as much as they could into their auto.

Neil Valentine and his family also left their home Thursday night in Leilani Estates.

No deaths or injuries were reported. They came just as some residents were trying to evacuate, causing more complications and panic.

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A local journalist, Ben Gutierrez, said the eruption seemed to be the biggest in decades.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist, Janet Babb, said that local residents should be very careful because "lava could break to the surface, and it could do so fairly quickly".

"There's more magma in the system to be erupted". It won't be just an hours-long eruption probably, but how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved. "We're all rattled right now", he said.

Residents in the lower Puna area should keep themselves informed about the situation, and be prepared to evacuate.

Residents of Leilani Estates are still being allowed to briefly return to gather medicines, pets and other essentials. They feared they might lose the house. Hot vapour emerged from a crack and spattering lava began to erupt.

Scientists and volcanologists are now trying to determine the movement of the magma under the volcano.

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Two additional lava fissures have opened up on Kilauea in Hawaii, bringing the number of eruptions to 10.