US & Canada

Kilauea: Hawaii volcano destroys dozens of homes

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAerial footage shows spread of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

The eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has destroyed a total of 35 structures - mostly homes - and is threatening hundreds more.

Nearly 2,000 people have so far been evacuated. Some residents were allowed home to rescue pets, but authorities said it was not safe to stay.

New fissures and vents opened overnight in the Leilani Estates area, where lava leapt up to 230ft (70m) into the air.

The island was hit by a powerful 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLava flows are continuing from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii

"When I evacuated on Thursday, I pretty much said goodbye because I have lived here a long time and seen what the lava does," local resident Ikaika Marzo told the BBC.

"I think it's just important for everybody just to be realistic."

Brenton Awa, another resident, said: "Knowing that these pets are still in cages, or in fences, or in chains without food makes my heart sore a little bit.

"That's one of the reasons we went in to feed some of the pets. It is just sad."

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and has been in constant eruption for 35 years.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Authorities say the fire has destroyed 26 homes on the island and is threatening hundreds more
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Fissures and vents in the Leilani Estates area have spewed lava around homes

More than $35,000 (£26,000) has been raised for a primary school teacher who has "lost everything" in the Leilani Estates lava flow.

Amber Makuakane, a single mother-of-two evacuated on Friday carrying rubbish bags full of clothing and important documents, according to the fundraiser set up by her colleagues at Pahoa Elementary School.

"We are asking for donations to help her rebuild. If you know Amber, you know that she has the biggest heart and is always willing to help," the page said.

"She is not one who will ask for help, but we feel that she needs our support in this tragic time."

The Hawaii State Teachers Association confirmed her employment, and said a lava fissure opened up directly below her home, where she had lived for nine years.

"I honestly don't know where to begin or what to say, other than… MAHALO! MAHALO MAHALO!," Ms Makuakane said on GoFundMe, using a Hawaiian word meaning thanks.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ten separate fissures have torn open the neighbourhood, about 40km from the volcano's crater
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some residents were allowed home to rescue pets after filling out forms. About 2,000 have been evacuated
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many are staying in emergency shelters, with no idea when they will be allowed to return home
Image copyright USGS
Image caption The volcano erupted on Friday, following a magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and has been in constant eruption for 35 years

Related Topics

More on this story