Thousands of residents on eastern edge of Hawaii’s largest island were forced to evacuate, after an erupting volcano poured lava into a housing project.
At least 31 houses have been destroyed as of Monday, after lava flows tore through Leilani Estates in the Big Island’s Puna district.
Since the island’s Kilauea volcano began erupting last Thursday, the area has been rocked by multiple earthquakes, including a 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday.
Lava pouring out of Kilauea flowed towards Leilani Estates, covering roads, sparking fires, and destroying dozens of homes.
Close to 2,000 people were evacuated as a result of the lava flows, as authorities warned residents to keep away from the affected areas.
“Please, the residents of Leilani need your help by staying out of the area,” Hawaii’s Civil Defense agency said in a statement Sunday. “This is not the time for sightseeing.”
The lava flow showed no signs of stopping Monday, according to the US Geological Survey.
"There's more magma in the system to be erupted. As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue," said volcanologist Wenday Stovall.
In addition to 31 homes destroyed since the eruptions began Thursday, 4 other unspecified buildings were lost, Hawaii County officials said on Sunday.