Scores more homes destroyed by lava flow on Hawaii's Big Island

Giant acidic steam clouds rise from ocean after lava spill in Hawaii (VIDEO)

On Monday, civil defense reported a total of 117 homes and other structures destroyed across the island's larger lava-stricken region, as the eruption from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, continued through its 33rd day.

Kilauea's eruption, which entered its 35th day today has destroyed over 200 homes and other buildings, forcing thousands to evacuate and its lava is now reshaping the coastline of Hawaii's Big Island. These were vacation homes and rentals, as well as primary residences. A morning overflight confirmed that lava had completely filled the Bay. On the left is an image from Tuesday, which shows some areas already blackened by lava. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) Lava threatens homes on the outskirts of Pahoa. Lava destroyed hundreds of homes in mostly rural Hawaii area overnight, a county spokeswoman said. About 80 of those were destroyed in the Leilani Estates community, where lava-spouting fissures in the ground first opened on May 3 downhill from the volcano's eastern flank.

Barbara McDaniel, a retiree who moved with her husband to Vacationland from Washington state five years ago, said they fled as soon as evacuations began, taking little else but their dog and cat with them.

They didn't expect the lava flow to head their way. (Reuters/Terray Sylvester) A home on fire in the Kapoho area.

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"He was very depressed", Okabe said of how Kim, the mayor, felt about losing his vacation home. The flight crew went to a safe location and dropped off the USGS team, then went back and airlifted the people to safety, Janet Babb said, a USGS geologist.

But with the latest releases of lava showing few signs of subsiding, residents are bracing for the possibility that the monthlong phase of the eruption could stretch for weeks or even months. To the north, lava has covered all but a small portion of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Those who live or vacation in the area were mourning the loss of popular tide-pools where kids enjoyed swimming. Miles of charred, blackened landscape are visible behind the ocean-entry point, showing the lava flow's path of destruction from the inland fissure.

"Anything above 6.9 [magnitude] is our threshold", she said, noting that it would warn people to stay clear of the ocean in such an event.

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