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Lava destroys one home, threatens others in Hawaii

Lava from Kilauea Volcano flowed into an isolated island subdivision over the weekend, destroying one home and threatening four others, a fire official said Monday. Lava overran a vacant home Saturday and encircled another home Sunday, prompting the evacuation of two residents by helicopter, said Jack Minassian, fire management officer at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The homes are in the Royal Gardens subdivision on Hawaii Island. The subdivision has been devastated since Kilauea's latest and longest eruption.

Since the eruption began on Jan. 3, 1983, Kilauea has claimed 75 homes in Royal Gardens and neighboring subdivisions. Only four homes remain in Royal Gardens. The home destroyed Saturday has been vacant since its resident left the subdivision in 1983.

Another finger of lava east of Royal Gardens crossed the Kalapana Bypass Highway but headed for the ocean over old flows and did not threaten homes, Minassian said.

Information was difficult to come by because previous flows have cut the road into Royal Gardens. Access is limited to foot traffic or motorcycles.

Kilauea has caused more than $20-million in damage since the eruption began. It has engulfed 2{ miles of roads, two miles of water lines and two miles of utility lines.