Before-and-after photos reveal Hawaii's volcanic destruction

 

The ongoing volcanic eruptions on Hawaii's Big Island have caused severe damage to residential neighborhoods surrounding the Kilauea volcano.

The eruptions are showing no signs of slowing down. On Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a rare "red alert" warning, which means a major eruption is imminent and that the ash clouds emitted from the volcano can affect air traffic.

The volcano continues to belch noxious fumes, like sulfur dioxide, which can make breathing difficult for children and the elderly. Geologists are also warning that the eruption may enter a more violent stage, spewing lava and hurtling boulders hundreds of feet in the air.

Neighborhoods in the volcano's vicinity have been hit particularly hard by the eruption, and over 1,000 people have evacuated. 

DigitalGlobe, a technology firm that operates a network of private satellites, provided Business Insider with a series of satellite images showing the damage from the eruptions. Below, photos of the affected neighborhoods from 2017 are juxtaposed with images taken this week of the same area. 

Here are the before-after-photos of the damage: 

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Before-and-after's of Hawaii's volcanic damage
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Before-and-after's of Hawaii's volcanic damage

The Leilani Estates neighborhood in Kilauea's East Rift Zone has sustained the worst damage from the eruption. The area is pictured here on May 24 of last year.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite on May 24, 2017.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

In Leilani Estates and surrounding neighborhoods today, lava is spewing from at least 20 fissures, or cracks in the ground. It has burned houses, vehicles, and infrastructure.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite on May 14, 2018.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

Like much of Hawaii's Big Island, the Leilani Estates neighborhood was formerly lush and verdant.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite on May 24, 2017.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

But many parts of the neighborhood now look brown due to burning and ash. Here's a view of an active fissure on a property in Leilani Estates.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite on May 14, 2018.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

Leilani Estates is home to almost 2,000 residents. Here's another view of it in 2017.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite on May 24, 2017.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

In parts of that neighborhood today, lava is piled up over 40 feet thick.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite on May 14, 2018.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

Over 1,000 residents are still unable to occupy their homes. Now that the eruption has gotten more violent, geologists say it's hard to predict when it will subside.

Image taken by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite on May 14, 2018.

Photo Credit: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

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SEE ALSO: A volcano eruption in Hawaii has caused lava to pour into a residential neighborhood — here's what it looks like on the ground

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