The number of homes destroyed by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has jumped to 31 as scientists report lava spewing more than 200 feet (61 meters) into the air. In revised figures, Hawaii County officials said another four unspecified structures were covered by lava.
According to Kansas City Star, some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time. Hawaii 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 created by the volcano.
Officials immediately ordered a mandatory evacuation for thousands of residents of the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions. Officials also evacuated 2,600 visitors from Volcanoes National Park, which provides public access to lava viewing points.