On May 24 Lorri Cruz watched as her home — her entire neighborhood — disappeared into a fiery field of lava.
Cruz, a former Naples resident who moved to Hawaii in 2005, is one of more than 2,000 people who have been forced from their homes since the Kilauea volcano began erupting May 3. Last week, emergency evacuations continued as the fast-moving lava flows on Hawaii’s Big Island engulfed more homes, crossed roads and blocked escape routes.
“I am one of the blessed ones,” Cruz posted on her Facebook page, where she has been posting photos and videos of the ongoing fallout. With her yard and house on Kaupili Street devoured in lava, she took refuge with a friend on the other side of the island.
“Kaupili Street is covered over in a mass amount of lava,” Cruz wrote. “No one’s property was spared.”
The Red Cross, churches and a local hub are providing emergency aid, she said.
“There is mass donations of food and water here, the shortage is housing!!” she wrote.
Meanwhile, friends back in Naples launched a GoFundMe Facebook page to raise money to help out Cruz and her daughter, Alyssa, who lived in Leilani Estates in the heart of the worst-hit areas.