And more than two months later, Kilauea is still breaking out.
On Monday, a lava bomb – a flying chunk of molten rock – hit a tour boat and injured 23 people. Thirteen of the injured were hospitalized and at least one woman was in serious condition, authorities said.
Here's how the volcano has affected the area in recent months.
So far, 706 homes have been destroyed, according to Hawaiian County Civil Defense Agency
Lava flows blazed into quarters, swallowing houses and burying them in a sea that now looks like a black sea. In the communities of Vacationland and Kapoho the lava decimated hundreds of houses.
The volcano has caused two dozen rifts that open the surface of the earth and purify lava fountains and hazardous sulfur dioxide. Bursting cracks appeared on critical roads and even under houses, rendering them uninhabitable.
2.5 square miles of land have been covered with lava since the eruption began more than two months ago, says the Civil Defense Agency of Hawaii County
Residents stressed about homes and businesses
Compulsory evacuations are for the residents of Leilani Estates, according to CNN subsidiary KHON. The community of about 1,500 people was besieged by earthquakes, cracks and lava eruptions.
The inhabitants of the affected areas had to stay in the two shelters, which were open to lava refugees or find other places to stay. About 20 micro-helmets, made up of tiny houses in Pahoa, were built for residents displaced by the lava, KHON reports.
Some evacuees who were able to return to their homes were frustrated when they saw that looters had plundered them in the weeks they had to stay away.
Nat Tomaselli, a longtime resident, told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Well that he returned to find that his furniture, refrigerator, bedroom and even his solar panels had been stolen. He had to evacuate when the lava approached his property a few weeks ago.
"I can not believe they did that," Tomaselli said in tears. "They tore my place apart, I miss all my beds."
Many of the residents are also struggling with loss of income as their operations and operations have been destroyed by the outbreak.
The lava has already physically altered the Great Isle in various ways. The lava flow has added 690 acres of new land, tweeted USGS.
Part of the lava flow spread underwater from the coast and created a tiny new island, as the United States Geological Survey said. The agency believes that underwater pressure pushes the lava flow to the surface.
In June, the lava completely filled Kapoho Bay – shocking residents and visitors who frequented the area for its flood plains, snorkeling and picnics. The picturesque bay, dotted with beach houses and lush greenery, had turned into a dark steam and lava floor. Now the lava flow extends from the former bay, where today a 3.7-mile-wide current flows into the ocean.
Also in June, the lava flow evaporated Hawaii's largest freshwater lake within a few hours. Green Lake, once a popular bathing spot that was once about 200 feet deep, is now full of lava.
CNN's Artemis Moshtagian contributed to this report.