Incredible aerial footage shows fountain of lava bubbling out of the Kilauea volcano

Incredible aerial footage released by the United States Geological Survey shows lava bubbling out of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

In the video, taken from a helicopter around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, a fountain of lava feeds into a red-hot river and travels northeast, where it eventually enters the Pacific Ocean through Kapoho Bay.

The lava completely filled the bay and built a delta extending nearly a mile from shore, according to USGS.

Thick clouds of smoke surrounded the coast as a result of the lava, according to USGS.

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.

Lava began entering the ocean less than two hours after the explosions began and filled the shallow bay by 2 p.m. that day, according to the USGS.

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 USGS 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.

The volcano has been spewing ash and lava since the beginning of May.

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ABC News: U.S.