But Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County on the Big Island, said they believe the number could be much higher - in the hundreds.
Mounting property losses were reported a day after five or six people who initially chose to stay in the newly evacuated Kapoho area after road access was cut off were rescued by helicopter, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense agency.
The flow, which is a half-mile wide in parts, entered the sea Sunday night, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, sending large plumes of "laze" - a risky mix of steam, gas and volcanic glass - into the air. "Nothing stops it and the direction it goes", Magno said of the lava flow. She noted that does not count the homes lost at Kapoho, since those have to be verified by drone overflight and comparison with tax department maps, and that hundreds more still need to be counted. The area is primarily home to vacation rentals, but there are a lot of permanent residences there too.
Scientists said a laze plume was blowing inland from the ocean entry but dissipating quickly.
"Right now, we don't have anything". "I wish I could just find out if I have a house".
Lava from one of the fissures entered Kapoho Bay late Sunday or early Monday, forcing billowing clouds of steam into the atmosphere as hot lava hit the cool water of the Pacific Ocean.
Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The eruptions have also destroyed more than 150 homes.