Lava from the Kilauea volcano has destroyed hundreds of homes in a mostly rural area on the Big Island of Hawaii, a county spokeswoman says.
- Homes have been lost in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland
- No injuries have been reported
- The Big Island Mayor is among those to have lost property
The destruction is the largest number of destroyed homes since the eruption began last month.
No injuries were reported in the area, which had previously been evacuated.
“We don’t have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland last night,” said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County.
A morning flyover confirmed that lava completely filled Kapoho Bay, inundated most of Vacationland and covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots, scientists with the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.
Lava destroyed Big Island Mayor Harry Kim’s second home in Vacationland, Ms Snyder said.
County managing director Wil Okabe said his own holiday home in Kapoho Beach Lots was also threatened.
Mr Okabe said the area was a mix of holiday rentals and year-round residences.
“For us it’s more of a vacation area, but for those who live there permanently, they’re trying to figure out where they’re going to be living,” he said.
Thousands in the eastern district of Puna had to evacuate after lava fissures started opening in neighbourhoods a month ago.
Officials had issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland to leave by last Friday or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews.
Lava erupts in Leilani Estates, where residents were ordered to leave last week. (Reuters: Terray Sylvester)