Hawaii's Kilauea volcano destroys at least 30 homes

PAHOA, Hawaii (KABC) -- Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed at least 30 homes, and scientists warn the dangerous situation could continue for weeks.

The lava continues to spew from cracks in the earth, rocketing more than 300 feet in the air and flowing down neighborhood streets.

Some of the 1,800 people evacuated from two neighborhoods on Hawaii's Big Island are now being allowed back in. They were given just a few hours to get their pets and belongings before being forced to leave again.

Resident Woodlin Keahi Nelson hoped to be among them - then, he saw video showing a line of lava creeping in this backyard. Later, he learned that his childhood had been engulfed in volcanic flames.

"It kept me up weeks on weeks knowing the volcano was there and this nightmare finally came true today - the whole house up in flames," Nelson said.

The flow of lava extends far beyond the erupting fissures. That, and the hundreds of earthquakes that have hit the area in the past week aren't the only threats.

The biggest concern is with the sulfur dioxide pouring into the air from these eruptions. The toxic fumes in the smoke are engulfing those neighborhoods.

Area resident Chris Klepps is among those told the gas levels are too high near his home to return. When asked what he expects to find when he eventually returns home, he replied, "Ashes."

There's no telling when Klepps will get to go back or when these eruptions and earthquakes will stop. Experts say it could be days, weeks or even months.
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