Lava has been flowing in rural Big Island neighborhoods since fissures began opening in backyards a month ago. Inland, where molten rock is burning through the jungle, methane explosions are hurling boulders while toxic gas is reaching some of the highest levels seen in recent times.
The grim update came as an explosion caused the volcano to spew toxic ash and rubble almost a mile into the air and triggered a 5.5-magnitude natural disaster.
About 500 homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland were in the direct path of the lava, officials from the County of Hawaii Civil Defense told ABC News.
"Lava entered Green Lake within Kapoho Crater, producing a large steam plume".
Despite rumors to the contrary, Snyder said Hawaii County Parks and Recreation's Summer Fun Program will not be cancelled this year. On Sunday four people were rescued by airlift, according to KITV, but officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense estimated that "about twelve people" were still trapped in the area.
Hundreds of homes on Hawaii's Big Island have been destroyed from lava oozing from the Kilauea volcano after an early morning explosion on Tuesday, according to officials.
No injuries were reported in the area, which had previously been evacuated.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says Saturday that vigorous lava eruptions are continuing in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.
In its report, the US Air Force said: "Modern aerial bombing has a substantial probability of success for diversion of lava from most expected types of eruptions on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone, if Hilo is threatened and if Air Force assistance is requested". The crew landed and confirmed the three people had no cellphone reception.
Seaside residents and boaters also have been warned to avoid noxious clouds of laze - a term combining the words "lava" and "haze" - formed when lava reacts with seawater to form a mix of acid fumes, steam and glass-like specks.
"USGS was on a routine overflight and saw people on the road in an area cut off by the lava". Police on Monday said a man sped through a checkpoint near an intersection where lava was approaching. "Refusing to evacuate may put you, your family and first responders in danger". This eruption has lasted longer than the 1955 and 1924 eruptions, the USGS said.