Hawaii's volcanic eruption has destroyed at least 21 homes, officials say

Hawaiians on volcano eruption watch as hundreds of earthquakes hit island in less than 72 hours.                       US Geological Survey

Officials say active venting of lava and risky levels of volcanic gases continue between two main roads in the subdivision, where more than 1,700 people have been ordered to evacuate. Neighborhoods downhill from the vents were at risk of being covered up. Nine homes had been destroyed, the Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake, whose epicentre was on the south flank of the volcano, was not large enough to cause a tsunami although it generated sea level changes around the island of up 40 centimetres.

State Sen. Russell Ruderman said he's experienced many earthquakes, but the magnitude-5.4 temblor that hit first "scared the heck out of me".

Evacuee Ellie Garnett fretted about her four dogs and cat, Scarlet, whom she inadvertently left Thursday during the evacuation.

Amber Makuakane confirmed to the AP on Sunday that her property in Leilani Estates is one of at least nine that officials say was destroyed by Kilauea volcano.

Sonner was at work this week when she heard that lava had erupted in her neighborhood.

What's more, in the 50th state, as in many parts of the world with volcanoes, the benefits - rich soils for agriculture, the presence of mineral deposits and geothermal energy - make staying close to volcanoes attractive. "It's hard to keep up".

The crater floor began to collapse Monday, triggering earthquakes and pushing lava into new underground chambers that carried it toward Leilani Estates and nearby communities. But she was more excited about her home, right outside the Leilani Estates subdivision, and being a first-time homeowner. Authorities ordered more than 1,700 residents to evacuate from there and nearby Lanipuna Gardens. But scientists said new vents could form, and it was impossible to know where.

"At this point, I've got what I've got on my back", she said.

"At the time, I understood it as a possibility", she said. "It's just that roaring and unbelievable power of the lava bubbling up and spitting up into the air".

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But she never thought it would be a reality. "And I'm enjoying life here, so you know, you put up with a lot of things here".

No injuries or deaths were reported. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said residents in the area were being sheltered at Pahoa and Kea'au community centers.

Kilauea has erupted periodically for decades, and scientists said they have no way of predicting how long the eruption will continue.

The volcano, one of five on the island, erupted on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the last couple of days, including a 5.0 tremor earlier in the day, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its website.

"There is quite a bit of magma in the system".

The initial eruption Thursday afternoon, which was captured on video here, was short-lived and remained relatively contained. "And so we are watching that very, very closely", Miklius said.

Stephen Clapper was one of hundreds of residents to flee the threats from the volcanic eruption. Leilani Estates sits along the zone. His wife Stella then took a call from an official who told them to get out immediately.

"This is our retirement dream", Henry Calio said. The collapse caused magma to push more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) downslope toward the populated southeast coastline.

In 1924, one person was killed when Kilauea spewed ash and rocks into the sky.

Local resident Ikaika Marzo said to Hawaii News Now that he had witnessed fountains of lava spewing as high as 125 feet.

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