Hawaii officials said the decimated homes were in the Leilani Estates subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the volcano.
PAHOA, Hawaii Hawaiis Kilauea volcano has destroyed 26 homes since it began spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air last week, and residents who evacuated dont know how long they might be displaced. "I'm just not one to rush off".
"I'm a renter but everything we own is in that house", said Wilson, a 36-year-old social worker, who moved to the Leilani Estates subdivision four years ago and is among 1,700 residents who have evacuated since the eruption. But the slopes of Kilauea offer affordable land and a lush rural setting that attract a hardy breed of independent Hawaiian. She later confirmed that lava had covered her property.
Makuakane grew up in the area, and despite the risks, wanted to remain close to her family. In 2014, lava torched a house and blanketed a cemetery near Leilani Estates, and nearly 30 years ago, the entire town of Kalapana was slowly buried in lava over a year.
"It is true that the spirit of ALOHA is alive and well", she said. "Its devastating. but Ive come to terms with it".
But, given the relative downturn in geologic activity, Leilani Estates residents are allowed to check on their property during the day, so long as they are "prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice", the Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
State officials told Reuters the disaster hasn't impacted flights or tourist spots on the island, which are far from the area where lava continues to burst from cracks in the ground. But she was more excited about her home and being a first-time homeowner. "You can recover from it, but they went home with headaches and so forth, but that's part of the exposure", Magno said. She dismantled and sold her catchment basin, which off-grid residents use to capture rainwater for bathing. Many rely on solar power, and some live entirely off the electrical grid.
Lava pours down a road in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 6, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii.
"It was roaring sky high".
"This is Pele's ground", she finally said. Residents of a second area, Lanipuna Gardens, were barred from returning home on Monday due to deadly volcanic gases.
Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of the world's most active volcanoes.
In addition to lava flows and earthquakes, Kilauea is also producing large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas.
U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall says lava flows are continuing from the only active fissure, though the total of open vents has ticked up to 10.
Knox has some belongings packed in case he has to make a fast escape. "Please be aware that because of unstable conditions that involve toxic gas, earthquakes and lava activities, lines of safety can change at any time", the Hawaii County Civil Defense said in an online statement May 6.
Evans asked, "Do you have any idea when you'll be able to go home again?"