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These satellite images show how lava has seared neighborhoods in Hawaii

CNN logo CNN 4 days ago By Paul P. Murphy, CNN
the inside of a building © Digital Globe

To get an idea of just how drastically lava flows have scorched the areas surrounding Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, take a look at these satellite images from DigitalGlobe.

Tall trees and lush jungle lined parts Luana Street in Leilani Estate before the lava flows. Now, volcanic rock covers asphalt; homes and the vegetation have turned to ash; and burnt trees lie on their sides like toothpicks.

Further east on Hawaii Highway 132, vast swaths of greenery are blistered black as a long scar oozes lava.

As Leilani Avenue curves west, the satellite images shows smoke wafting off a lava flow. It clean through Kaupili Street. Another, much larger lava flow is just dozens of feet away.

A look at the southeastern corner of Leilani Estates shows just how lucky some residents have been in escaping damage. Some houses dotting the landscape are only feet away from the lava's reach.

Lava flows toward the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii Saturday, May 19, 2018. Two fissures that opened up in a rural Hawaii community have merged to produce faster and more fluid lava. Scientists say the characteristics of lava oozing from fissures in the ground has changed significantly as new magma mixes with decades-old stored lava. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Photos: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano erupts

Slideshow by photo services

This week, the US Geological Survey issued a red alert, meaning that a major eruption of the Kilauea volcano is imminent or underway. They say a phreatic eruption could happen, sending ash plumes as far as 12 miles from the summit crater.

Residents also have to worry about sulfur dioxide gases emitted from the lava flows.

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