Number of structures destroyed by lava soars to 82; eruptions co - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Number of structures destroyed by lava soars to 82; eruptions continue

Lava claims a home in lower Puna as flows continue in the area. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook) Lava claims a home in lower Puna as flows continue in the area. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook)
Eruptions show no signs of stopping in lower Puna, where thousands have been displaced. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook) Eruptions show no signs of stopping in lower Puna, where thousands have been displaced. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook)
Lava eruptions from a fissure in Leilani Estates as volcanic activity continues in the area. (Image: FEMA) Lava eruptions from a fissure in Leilani Estates as volcanic activity continues in the area. (Image: FEMA)
Eruptions in Leilani Estates have destroyed dozens of homes and show no signs of stopping. (Image: FEMA) Eruptions in Leilani Estates have destroyed dozens of homes and show no signs of stopping. (Image: FEMA)
Lava flows from fissure no. 6, creating a spatter cone and a small lava pond. (Image: USGS) Lava flows from fissure no. 6, creating a spatter cone and a small lava pond. (Image: USGS)
PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The official tally of structures destroyed by lava soared to 82 on Friday — up from 50 earlier this week — and authorities say that number will almost undoubtedly rise as highly active eruptions continue on Kilauea's lower east rift zone. 

Early Saturday morning, a still pahoehoe flow west of fissure no. 7 broke out and began feeding shorter flows to the west. Madame Pele didn't take a pause on Friday night, with flaming spatter and booming gas emissions from several fissures continuing into Saturday morning.

On Friday afternoon, firefighters went door-to-door on Kaupili, Mohala and Kahukai streets in Leilani Estates to urge any residents left behind to leave. Officials warned that fissures no. 7 and 21 are feeding a flow that's advancing toward the area and threatening more homes. 

County officials said Mohala Street, Kahukai Street and Kaupili Streets have been cut off by the lava. 

So far, lava has covered 3.4 square miles of land in lower Puna, cutting off access to at least 37 homes. Widening cracks in the earth, caused by magma flowing underground and deforming land, has also damaged a number of roads and several homes.

"We've had so much activity in the last few days," Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said, at a news conference. "We probably got more (homes destroyed) because more structures were taken out in the last 24 hours."

On Thursday night, resident Isaac Krakauer took to Facebook Live to document lava flows claiming several homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision. 

"This is insane. This lava is advancing at about two feet more minute and we're seeing this river move across this lawn taking that house in a matter of minutes," Krakauer said in the video, as he documents a landscape on fire — a field of lava over lawns, covering trees and advancing on homes.

"This thing is moving so fast. It's hard to even look at it, it's so bright and hot. 

[No end in sight: 3 weeks on and eruptions are fiercer than ever]

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists say several eruptions along a two-mile line of fissures remain active, pumping out an incredible 40 to 60 cubic feet of lava per second, spewing fountains of lava into the air and creating flows that are cascading into the sea some three miles downslope.

Perhaps the most unsettling fact for residents: There's no telling when the volcanic activity will end.

Some 2,000 people have already evacuated from the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, ground zero for the eruptions, and authorities say hundreds more may need to flee if lava cuts off key roads out of the area.

The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday that it has sent two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from Oahu to help if more evacuations become necessary. Each helicopter can carry 50 passengers.

Hundreds of evacuees are watching the vigorous eruptions warily, hoping against hope that their homes will be spared.

Those who already know the fate of their properties — who already know that lava has taken everything — are wondering how to move on.

Jon Parr and his family had lived in Leilani Estates for just two weeks when the eruptions began. Their home is now covered in lava.

And he said he never imagined anything like this could happen. 

"We kind of figured it would be like taking a walk when there's a storm out. You could get hit by lightning, but you probably won't."

Dr. Roy Lozano, a chiropractor, built a home off Pohoiki Road a decade ago. It was everything he wanted for his family after moving from Maui — affordable acreage where his wife had room for her ceramic artwork and the chickens had space to graze.

And then came the bad news: A friend called to tell him that his home had been burnt down.

"There was just a slight feeling — for about five minutes — of some guilt. It was like, what did I do wrong?" Lozano said. "And then that passed and it went into mourning and grieving and tears."

In addition to eruptions, officials continue to warn about worsening ground cracking, which has already significantly damaged several homes.

Shantel Pacarro's home has so far been spared by lava, but wide cracks now cut across her property.

Over the course of the last several days, those cracks have both lengthened and widened, and the 10-foot separation in the earth now runs beneath the home on her property. 

"For me, I told my kids home is when we are all together. That's our home," Pacarro said. "We can always rebuild. As long as we have each other, that's the most important thing." 

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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