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Scorching hot lava engulfs man's Hawaiian home [VIDEO]

Scott Levin's picture

Over the years, Jack Thompson watched lava infiltrate his community and destroy all the homes of his neighbors. However, that wasn't enough to get him to move.

But Thompson's luck finally ran out Friday when hot lava again flowed into his neighborhood. This time, there would be no escaping it.

The 61-year-old Hawaii resident was evacuated out of the Royal Gardens subdivision in Honolulu just before his house was ravaged by the scorching liquid. Thompson's home was the last one remaining in the neighborhood. Over the past 25 years, Thompson has watched as each and every one his neighbors lost their homes.

A helicopter rescued Thompson, who was able to collect some of his valuables before fleeing his home. Upon returning after the flow subsided, Thompson found that the roof and a water tank were the only pieces of his home still remaining.

A question on many people's minds is, why didn't Thompson move to safer grounds much earlier after watching lava wreak havoc in his community? For one, Thompson says he enjoyed the serenity and peacefulness of the quiet neighborhood. According to Thompson, the subdivision became a haven for surfers and squatters. What originally was planned to be a significant development with 1,500 lots became far less inhabited due to the threat of lava flows.

Thompson, who lived in the Royal Gardens home for 30 years, said it was a "one-of-a-kind" house with beautiful surroundings, making a move tough to swallow.

Luckily for Thompson, he did have a backup plan. He also owns a home in Ainaloa on the Big Island and has moved there for the time being. However, Thompson told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that he's "had enough" and may look to relocate away from the Hawaiian islands.

The lava that took out Thompson's Royal Gardens home flowed from the Kilauea volcano. Royal Gardens began as an ambitious subdivision in the 1950s, but by the mid 1980s, about 20 percent of the land had been overrun with lava from the flowing volcano. By 2008, the number jumped to 65 percent and only two residents remained in the area. The land became less of a destination for Hawaiian residents and more of an attraction for tourists, who could view the lava-filled community by helicopter tour.

After Friday's flow, it looks like Royal Gardens has finally become uninhabited.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Video Source:KHON-2 TV

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