(PAHOA, Hawaii) -- Aerial footage of Hawaii's Big Island shows the extent of the damage from the Kilauea volcano's latest explosion.
Before and after photos reveal a vast amount of land near Kapoho Bay now covered in lava.
About 500 homes were in the direct path of the lava, and hundreds of homes in the Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland communities were destroyed, the County of Hawaii Civil Defense told ABC News.
Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, the volcano began spewing ash nearly a mile into the air, sparking a 5.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Less than two hours after the explosions began, lava had entered the ocean, with thick smoke surrounding the coast, according to the USGS.
Lava had filled the shallow Kapoho Bay before 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Thousands have been evacuated from the area, but officials fear that up to a dozen residents who decided to stay could be dead.
The volcano's valve is open, and the volcano is going through "a cycle of deflation," Wendy Stovall of the U.S. Geological Survey told ABC News.
More eruptions are possible in the coming months as the deflation process continues, Cindi Preller, geologist and duty scientist at the Oahu office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told ABC News.
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