"He was very depressed", Okabe said of how Kim felt about losing his vacation home.
At least 117 homes have already been taken by lava in the Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates neighbourhoods where lava surfaced more than a month ago. Okabe described the area as a mix of vacation rentals and year-round residences. She said that lava from Kilauea volcano had completely covered the subdivision in Kapoho and at last report, just a small portion of Kapoho Beach Lots remained. The flow prompted warnings from Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities about laze, a nasty mashup of lava and haze that sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.
Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.
"I just locked my doors and walked away", 28-year Vacationland resident Betty Oberman said.Most of those homes are believed to have been lost.
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Numerous homes in the upscale gated community of Kapoho Beach Lots were valued at several million dollars each.
"Big Island residents are in shock today, mourning the loss of not one, but two spectacular beach communities to the ongoing lava flow which began in early May", wrote Mick Kalber, who was over the lava flow in a helicopter this morning, documenting the new landscape below.
She reminisced about taking her daughter to swim in the ocean for the first time in a local swimming spot known as Champagne Ponds.
The state is issuing citations to those who needed to be rescued from mandatory evacuation areas.
They anxious their house would be spared by the lava but rendered inaccessible, leaving them stuck with the mortgage for an abandoned home and a fire insurance policy that was of no value, she told Reuters.
Almost a dozen people were left stranded in an area cut off by lava on Sunday.