Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday that the entire neighborhood of Vacationland has been covered by lava, and the nearby Kapoho subdivision has only a few structures remaining.
Also present at the press conference, Hawaii Governor David Ige said state will allocate 12 million USA dollars to help respond to the eruption, covering expenses ranging from overtime work to food and equipment.
An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area with the force of a 5.4 magnitude natural disaster and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level. A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles.
"This is the hottest lava we've seen during this eruption", Wendy Stovall, a scientist with USGS told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now.
Late Thursday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that fissure 8 "is very active and producing a large channelized flow that has filled in Kapoho Bay".
But the land is still highly unpredictable, and once the lava cools and hardens it will leave behind a jagged, scorched landscape with razor-sharp shards of volcanic rock. Scientists said that while the height of the lava is variable depending on the source and local topography, much of the area is covered in 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) of lava.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said there were several earthquakes at the summit early this morning.
"Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water", the HVO warns.
While the new land is owned by the state, people that have private property in the affected areas will still own their land, although it will need to be reassessed once the lava stops flowing. At least 117 homes have already been taken by lava in the Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates neighborhoods where lava surfaced more than a month ago.