Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano eruption has destroyed 26 homes and forced thousands to flee as lava spewed more than 200ft into the air.
More than 1,700 people have been forced to leave the area, and could be told to stay away for some time.
Officials said the decimated homes were in the Leilani Estates subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground.
Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said the number of destroyed homes could rise.
“This is heartbreaking,” she said.
Amber Makuakane, 37, a teacher and single mother of two, said her three-bedroom house in Leilani Estates was destroyed by lava.
“There was some steam rising from all parts of the yard, but everything looked fine,” Ms Makuakane said.
On Saturday morning, she received alerts from her security system that motion sensors throughout the house had been triggered.
Lava eventually covered her property.
“My son keeps asking me, ‘Mommy when are we going to go home?”‘
US Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said the eruptions may carry on.
“There’s more magma in the system to be erupted. As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue,” she said.
About 240 people and 90 pets spent Saturday night in shelters, the American Red Cross said.
Officials let some residents return briefly Sunday to get their pets, medicine and documents.
Kilauea one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983.
The USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a notice in mid-April that there were signs of pressure building in underground magma, and a new vent could form on the cone or along what is known as the East Rift Zone.
Leilani Estates sits along the zone.
From – SkyNews