County officials say there are 279 homes between the two coastal communities, and most are feared to be destroyed. County Managing Director Wil Okabe says his vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened.
Authorities began evacuating the greater Kapoho area last week and ushered most of the last remaining residents to safety early on Saturday, hours before the lava flow severed all road access to the region. As the lava enters the cool ocean a new delta is forming in Kapoho Bay, the actual boundaries of the island are transforming as they film.
Officials are still working to get an accurate count of damaged structures, but a flight by the U.S. Geological Survey shows blackened lava inundating a section of coastline that was once covered with lush forest and dotted by homes. Hundreds are now staying in emergency shelters.
Kathy Emery, who evacuated from her 5-acre farm in Kapoho, said she doesn't know if she has a home to go back to.
Lava from the volcano has reportedly flowed downhill and into the largest body of water on the island, Green Lake. "On the northern end of that, there are just a few homes in the (Kapoho) beach lots area".
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Pomerleau said all of the vacation homes he did handyman work for are gone.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency was putting the confirmed number of buildings lost to the current eruption at 117 on Monday, mostly residential properties.
Parts of the Big Island were rattled Tuesday, by a magnitude 5.5 natural disaster, the latest in a string of smaller earthquakes that have struck the island since the eruption started on May 4.
The state is issuing citations to those who needed to be rescued from mandatory evacuation areas. One home was lost in a separate 2014 lava flow in the commercial hub of Pahoa.
"It's a attractive blue day, but it really seems eerie up there, lots and lots of ash covering areas near Jagger Museum and the earthquakes really make things seem very unsettled", she said.
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