Transcript for Up close and personal with the Hawaii volcano spewing lava
Reporter: Day 19. The wrath of kilauea continues on the big island of Hawaii tonight, lobbing lava bomb into the air, pumping out a lake's worth of molten rock and incinerating everything in its path. With roads cut off, the only way in is on foot. That's the fissure we've been looking at for a couple of days now. Everything you see in front of us wasn't here a couple of days ago when we first started coming here. That lava being geysered up in the air is 100, 150 feet up. It is incredibly powerful. You can feel all the heat it's generating. And also where I am used to be a valley. Now it is literally creating this new topography. A ridge has formed where cows used to munch on cane grass. A royaling pit spitting out lava, creating rivers of molten rock, pouring across highways, cutting off access routes. It was at one point directed towards us and we evacuated. There's not a whole lot else we can do but be here and wait it out. Reporter: From there they flow out to the ocean in a four-mile-long red-hot river. More than 280 people remain in shelters and about 50 structures have been destroyed. Last week we met retired electrical engineer Herschel hood. He was returning to his evacuated neighborhood. Still here. Reporter: But today Herschel tells us that latest fissure decimated his home. I hope someday we can get pack to that piece of land because it will still be there underneath all that lava. Reporter: The county says there are at least six active fissures right now. They're volcanic vents that spew lava. Authorities are warning island residents about a steam release containing laze, a toxic cloud of hydrochloric acid and glass crystals caused by the piping-hot lava mixing with seawater. For that reason officials have cut off access to coastal areas where the laze poses a threat. You can see what this wind is doing, kicking up all of this steam and sulfur dioxide. That's hazard does to breathe. There are multiple more times of it in the air than a couple of days ago pumped into the air by the massive cauldron of lava behind me. Today that 22nd fissure continuing to erupt for the third consecutive day, piling up lava right up against the geothermal venture plant that supplies about one-quarter of the island's power, the state's largest utility. Lava is starting to intrude on the thermal venture site. It's not easy to predict where it's going to go and when it's going to get there. Reporter: The crisis at the plant the latest in a series of emergencies triggered when kilauea sparked back to life earlier this month. But you can only see the full scope of kilauea's fury from above. It's incredible that we can fly right over those two rivers of lava down there. You can actually feel the heat being generated 2,000 feet above them. We followed those lava rivers to the ocean and that explosion of steam. That's that plume of laze they've been warning everyone about. Reporter: Helicopter pilot Ethan shinoki has been flying over this area for 15 years. I've been in Hawaii pretty much my whole life, born and raised, and I've never seen an event this big. Reporter: The lava is actually creating more coastline in Hawaii, permanently changing large swaths of the landscape here. What's incredible is where this massive fissure is putting off so much heat and lava, two weeks ago this was pasture land. Wendy Stovall monitors volcanic unfortunate for the U.S. Geological survey. How long do you expect this to continue for? It's a good question. We're trying to figure that out. Seen lava, walked around on the coastal plain, definitely had some amazing experiences with being around lava flows. But this is a different scale altogether. Reporter: Most of Hawaii's volcanos national park remains closed. Normally this is a popular tourist destination drawing 2 million visitors here last year. Kilauea itself is an extremely well-monitored volcano. We have lots of instruments out there. We're learning so much about how the system works. Reporter: For so many families here, home will never be the same. Dean Navarez took this home video as she evacuated. She returned to this. But tourism officials say some bookings are already down up to 50% over this time last year. But on an island that was created by volcanos, long-time residents are reconciled to the shifting lifestyle and shifting landscape. Your neighbors lost pasture land, homes. That's sad. I'm sad about this. I've lost a lot too. Reporter: Jude farrow's lived here for decades. She's lost grazing land but not her love of the land. Maybe there is life after the kilauea eruption? This is life. This is the life's energy right here. This is life. The regeneration of the Earth. In another year or two, you'll see trees popping out of here. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Matt Gutman in Hawaii. Next, Ryan Reynolds explains
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