Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Entire Hawaii neighborhood vanishes as lava gushes in

Entire Hawaii neighborhood vanishes as lava gushes in

Overnight Monday, "hundreds" more were destroyed in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, said Janet Snyder, a Hawaii Civil Defense Service spokeswoman.

All but a few of the estimated 500 inhabitants of Kapoho and adjacent Vacationland development are now believed to have fled their homes, an agency spokesman said.

County Managing Director Wil Okabe said his own vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots was also threatened.

Authorities began evacuating the greater Kapoho area last week and ushered most of the last remaining residents to safety early on Saturday, hours before the lava flow severed all road access to the region. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences.

A neighborhood called Vacationland on Hawaii's Big Island had disappeared by Wednesday as lava poured into two oceanfront subdivisions, smothering hundreds of homes and filling an ocean bay, turning it into new land that now juts into the sea.

The devastating flow that cut through Kapoho can all be sourced back to fissure no. 8, which has been creating fountains of lava for 12 days straight.

Lava inundated the bay near Hawaii Island's eastern tip on Monday night, causing giant plumes of acidic fumes, known as 'laze, ' to billow from the ocean.

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

Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Separately, a mandatory evacuation zone remains in place for about half of lava-ravaged Leilani Estates.

So far, it was unclear how many homes have been affected, but Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said it was fair to say it was hundreds.

Lava had covered almost 8 square miles (20.7 sq km) of landscape as of Monday, and some 9,900 earthquakes had been recorded on the Big Island since Kilauea rumbled back to life last month. It was where vacationers enjoyed tide pools, snorkeling and picnics, reported CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now. "And I don't know what to do", she said.

Many island residents have lost everything.

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