26 homes, 4 other buildings destroyed by Hawaii volcano

  |   World News

The number of homes destroyed by Hawaii's Kilauea volcano jumped to 26 on Sunday as scientists reported 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. 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 updated the number of lost homes after an aerial survey of the subdivision. "That number could change," Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said. "This is heartbreaking."

Lava has spread around 387,500 square feet (36,000 square meters) surrounding the most active fissure, though the rate of movement is slow. There was no indication when the lave might stop or how far it might spread.

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