HONOLULU (CBSLA/CBS News/AP) — Lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano destroyed “hundreds” of homes overnight, including a house belonging to the Big Island’s mayor, according to a Hawaii County spokeswoman.
Janet Snyder said Tuesday that hundreds of homes were lost Monday night in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland. CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reported Tuesday morning that approximately 150 homes have been lost since the eruption began.
Snyder said it was difficult to count homes in that area from the air because of steam produced from lava entering the ocean.
Lava destroyed Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim’s second home in Vacationland. County Managing Director Wil Okabe says his vacation home in Kapoho Beach Lots is also threatened.
Most area residents have already evacuated. Thousands in the Puna district left after lava fissures started opening in neighborhoods a month ago.
Evans reports the cascade into Kapoho Bay is releasing toxic steam mixed with tiny particles of glass. It’s the second time lava has hit the ocean since the crisis began.
Scientists said a laze plume was blowing inland from the ocean entry but dissipating quickly. Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean, reacts with sea water and sends hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles in the air.
Officials warned the public to stay away from the plume because it can irritate skin and eyes and make it difficult to breathe.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)