Hawaii Kilauea Volcano: Six Things It Has Destroyed in Two Months Since Erupting

kilauea road
Lava from a Kilauea volcano fissure advances on a roadway in Leilani Estates, on Hawaii's Big Island, on May 25 in Pahoa, Hawaii. Mario Tama/Getty Images

It's been two months since the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted, sending lava spilling out into neighborhoods and smoke containing volcanic gas and glass into the air. Residents have been plagued by collapses at the summit, causing what feels like earthquakes across the whole island. There have been evacuations, and the island has been battling contaminated air and falling ash for the past two months.

But Kilauea has been more than an inconvenience to residents. The volcano has physically destroyed quite a bit on the island, not to mention the lives it has completely changed forever.

The months of eruptions and activity resulted in a continuous lava channel that is still flowing, the United States Geological Service shared Monday. The channel, coming from Fissure 8, was so active that it created an actual lava whirlwind. The USGS posted a video of the action on Twitter Monday.

Here are six things the volcano and its lava have destroyed since the activity began on May 3.

Six things the volcano has destroyed:

Mayor's home: Hawaii County's mayor, Harry Kim, lost his home, which he bought in 1971, to the flows of the volcano. It took a little more than a month for the lava to reach his property, but on June 5 the lava overtook his second home. The home, which was situated in Vacationland, was one of hundreds lost in the flow. The mayor had a feeling that something bad had happened early Tuesday morning and called Hawaii Civil Defense to check in about his property, Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.

Homes: As of June 25, the Hawaii Civil Defense said there were 657 homes destroyed by the volcano, and the lava was covering a space of more than 6,000 acres. Many of the homes destroyed were in the Vacationland and Leilani Estates, part of the island, and a portion of them were second or vacation homes. There is a Disaster Recovery Center set up, where residents can register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

USGS GPS: The USGS lost one of its GPS stations that was situated on the rim of the Halemaumau Crater on the floor of the caldera to measure the drop of the caldera. But after months of transmitting data about the drops, the GPS unit finally fell too far in and lost its connection with the observatory, according to the USGS.

Parking lot: A parking lot that had been closed since 2008 called the Overlook parking area "slumped into the crater," a photo taken on June 19 shows, according to the USGS.

parking lot hawaii
View of the southern edge of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater (middle right). The once-popular parking lot (closed since 2008) that provided access to Halema‘uma‘u is no longer—the parking lot fell into the crater this past week as more and more of the Kīlauea Crater floor slides into Halema‘uma‘u. USGS

Kapoho Bay: A month into the eruption event, the lava was steadily making its way in the direction of the ocean at Kapoho Bay. By June 3 in Hawaii, the lava reached the water at Kapoho Bay. On June 5, the entire bay was filled with lava, and everything in the path of the lava was full.

Where the lava was entering the cool ocean water, there was a lava haze, or laze, plume that poses a health risk to people in the area. The laze is a mix of steam and hydrochloric acid that can cause damage to the lungs.

kapoho bay filled
By the morning of June 5, the Fissure 8 lava flow had completely filled Kapoho Bay. USGS

Numerous roadways: Plenty of roads across the island have been damaged by the collapses and explosions at the summit of the volcano.