Image: Lava cools in a resident's yard in the Leilani Estates subdivision during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano

In Focus

Lava consumes homes as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts

The volcano, which has been spitting and sputtering lava for a week, has destroyed more than two dozen homes.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

An ash plume rises from the Halemaumau crater at the summit of the Kilauea volcano on May 9, 2018.

There is an increased chance of explosive eruptions from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii that could shoot rocks for miles and bring ashfall covering potentially dozens of miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday.

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Image: Eruptions continue at Hawaii volcano

Smoke billows from burned areas as eruptions continued overnight at the Leilani Estates subdivision, in Pahoa, on May 9.

Although activity has waned, geologists warn that it is not over. Fissures also continue to vent an extraordinary amount of toxic gases, creating hazardous breathing conditions in the immediate and downwind areas.

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Image: Lava and downed power lines block a road in the Leilani Estates subdivision during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano

Lava and downed power lines block a road in the Leilani Estates subdivision on May 8.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

U.S. Army National Guard First Lt. Aaron Hew Len takes measurements for sulfur dioxide gas at volcanic fissures in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 8.

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Volunteers and evacuees hold hands while praying before serving dinner at a makeshift donation center on May 8 in Pahoa.

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Image: Lava cools in a resident's yard in the Leilani Estates subdivision during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano

Lava cools in a resident's yard in the Leilani Estates subdivision during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea volcano on May 8.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

Resident Stacy Welch checks the heat rising from a fissure near her home, which remains standing, in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 7.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

Welch inspects lava next to a destroyed home located 250-feet from her home in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 7.

The volcano has spewed lava and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas into communities, leading officials to order 1,700 to evacuate.

Leilani Estates residents have been allowed to return during the day to inspect property and remove belongings. Officials have confirmed 35 structures have now been destroyed by lava in Leilani Estates.

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Image: The lava lake at the summit

The lava lake at the summit of the Kilauea Volcano near Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island on May 6.

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Image: Fissure eruptions cause lava to flow into the Leilani Estates subdivision

Fissure eruptions cause lava to flow into the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii, on May 6. 

Hawaii officials said the decimated homes were in the subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the volcano.

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Image: Lava threatens homes after a fissure eruption from the Kilauea volcano

Lava threatens homes near Pahoa on May 6.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

Residents jam a street after being allowed to briefly return home to check on belongings and pets in an evacuation zone on May 6 in Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island.

Some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time.

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Image: Lava flow from the Kilauea volcano

Plants grow on hardened lava from the 1990 eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Kalapana, Hawaii, on May 6.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano eruption

Fissure eruption fountains spew more than 100 feet into the air near Pahoa on May 6.

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Image: Sam Knox

Leilani Estates resident Sam Knox watches as lava stretches across a road on May 5 in Pahoa. Knox's home is less than a few hundred yards from the lava flow and he does not have any plans to evacuate. Knox is hopeful the lava will not take his home.

Marco Garcia / AP
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Branches of Ti leaves are placed in the cracks of the road as a sacred offering in Leilani Estates on May 5.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

Parishioners gather for Saturday Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Pahoa on May 5. A parishioner's home was destroyed by the lava flow in the area.

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Dr. Tim Richards, a veterinarian and County Councilman, checks on an evacuee's dog at the Pahoa Community Center on May 5.

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Volcanic gases pour out of a fissure in the Leilani Estates on May 5.

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Image: Hundreds Forced To Evacuate After Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

Lava from a fissure in the ground slowly advances to the northeast on Hookapu Street on May 5 in the Leilani Estates subdivision. 

 

U.S. Geological Survey / via Getty Images
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A Hawaii Volcanoes National Park worker turns people away on May 5 after the park was closed a day earlier due to dangerous volcanic activity.

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Image: Maurice Messina from the Parks and Recreation Department receives supplies donated to evacuees

Maurice Messina from the Parks and Recreation Department receives supplies donated to evacuees by local residents at the Pahoa Community Center on Hawaii's Big Island on May 5.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations

Evacuees, from left, Stacy Welch, Taylor Burns and Maddy Welch with their pet goose and dog outside the emergency shelter where they are staying at the Pahoa Community Center on May 5.

The three said they fled their home with their pets in the early morning after they saw lava approaching in the distance.

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Image: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano eruption

A fissure within the Leilani Estates subdivision, on the east rift zone of the Kilauea volcano, threatens homes on May 5. 

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A man films the lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision on May 5.

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Image: Hundreds Forced To Evacuate After Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

Lava erupts from a fissure from Luana Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa on May 5.

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Image: Hundreds Forced To Evacuate After Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

A robust, reddish-brown ash plume spews into the sky after the eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 4 in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa.

The governor of Hawaii declared a local state of emergency near the volcano after it erupted following an earthquake, forcing the evacuation of some 1,700 residents.

U.S. Geological Survey / via Getty Images
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Residents from the lava-affected parts of the Big Island hold a prayer before the start of a community meeting with local authorities at Pahoa High School on May 4.

Marco Garcia / AP
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Image: Carolyn McNamara hugs her neighbor Paul Campbell at an evacuation center in Pahoa after moving out of their homes after the Kilauea Volcano erupted, in the Puna community in Hawaii

Carolyn McNamara, 70, hugs her neighbor Paul Campbell, 68, at an evacuation center in Pahoa after they evacuated from their homes in the Puna community of Leilani Estates on May 4.

 

Terray Sylvester / Reuters
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Steam rises from a fissure in the Leilani Estates subdivision on May 4.

U.S. Geological Survey / via Getty Images
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Image: The Kilauea Volcano is seen in this aerial image after the volcano erupted following a series of earthquakes over the last couple of days in Hawaiiii

Kilauea volcano on May 3 after it erupted following a series of earthquakes.

U.S. Geological Survey / via Reuters
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A plume of ash rises above the Kilauea volcano on May 3.

Related: "No sign of slowing down": Lava damages homes in Hawaii

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