Lava early Tuesday destroyed Big Island Mayor Harry Kim's second home in Vacationland, Snyder said.
The official said aerial surveillance of the area showed only the northern portion of Kapoho Beach and the southernmost "sliver" of Vacationland - the latter consisting of only about half a dozen homes - were left unscathed.
When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals. Lava pouring into the ocean there has completely filled in the bay, extending almost a mile (1.6 km) out from what had been the shoreline, USGS scientists said.
The river of lava is emanating from a gushing fissure miles away, on the flanks of the Kilauea volcano in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.
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On Sunday, the flow crept toward Kapoho Bay, a roughly 1,000-foot-wide ocean retreat. This doesn't mean all homes were affected, but authorities will have to count and match the areas with property maps.
"God only knows what it's going to do next", Johnson said.
Thousands in the Puna area had to evacuate after lava fissures started opening in neighbourhoods a month ago. To the north, lava has covered all but a small portion of Kapoho Beach Lots. Okabe estimated there are several hundred homes in each of the two subdivisions. It was where vacationers enjoyed tide pools, snorkeling and picnics, reported CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now.
She reminisced about taking her daughter to swim in the ocean for the first time in a local swimming spot known as Champagne Ponds.
Many island residents have lost everything.
According to Snyder, Kim said, "Things that took weeks and months to get done in the past has now taken days".