Photos: Hawaii volcano erupts rivers of fire and lava

Aerial photos reveal the extent and devastating force of the volcanic eruption.

May 07, 2018, 11:58 AM

Aerial photos and footage reveal the extent and devastating force of the volcano erupting in Hawaii.

PHOTO: Volcanic lava flows down Kilauea's east rift zone, as a robust fissure eruption in Leilani Estates sends a massive flow into the subdivision, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
Volcanic lava flows down Kilauea's east rift zone, as a robust fissure eruption in Leilani Estates sends a massive flow into the subdivision, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock

Flaming, red hot lava engulfed homes and structures in its path, as rivers of fire flowed downhill through neighborhoods of the Big Island.

PHOTO: Lava from a fissure slowly advances to the northeast on Hookapu Street in Leilani Estates, Hawaii, May 5, 2018.
Lava from a fissure slowly advances to the northeast on Hookapu Street in Leilani Estates, Hawaii, May 5, 2018.
U.S. Geological Survey via AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Activity continues on Kilauea's east rift zone, as fissure eruptions in Leilani Estates release toxic gases, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6. 2018.
Activity continues on Kilauea's east rift zone, as fissure eruptions in Leilani Estates release toxic gases, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6. 2018.
Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock

Enormous plumes of smoke fill the sky with toxic gas as more vents opened up.

PHOTO: Lava flows from Fissure 7 in Pahoa, Hawaii, May 5, 2018. At the peak of its activity, large bubble bursts occurred in the fissure while spattering was present in other areas.
Lava flows from Fissure 7 in Pahoa, Hawaii, May 5, 2018. At the peak of its activity, large bubble bursts occurred in the fissure while spattering was present in other areas.
U.S. Geological Survey via AP

Residents were evacuated and warned of unstable roads and elevated levels of sulfur dioxide.

PHOTO: Lava from volcanic fissures overtakes structures and trees in the Leilani Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of eruptions from the the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 6, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.
Lava from volcanic fissures overtakes structures and trees in the Leilani Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of eruptions from the the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 6, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. Geological Survey reported molten lava shooting as high as 330 feet in the air -- higher than the tip of the torch on the Statue of Liberty.

PHOTO: Hot lava spews more than 100 feet into the air near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
Hot lava spews more than 100 feet into the air near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock

No one knows exactly how long the Kilauea volcano will continue to erupt.

PHOTO: Molten flows into the Leilani Estate subdivision, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018. A local state of emergency was declared after Mount Kilauea erupted near residential areas, forcing mandatory evacuations.
Molten flows into the Leilani Estate subdivision, near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018. A local state of emergency was declared after Mount Kilauea erupted near residential areas, forcing mandatory evacuations.
Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock
PHOTO: The lava lake at the summit of the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
The lava lake at the summit of the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa, Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
U.S. Geological Survey via AP
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