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Las Vegas man loses family home to Hawaii's volcanic eruption

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) - A Las Vegas man has lost his home on the Big Island.

Weeks after the volcano eruption, lava continues to destroy neighborhoods.

He owns the home where he grew up and shared countless memories with family and friends. While he is still in disbelief that part of his childhood is gone, more importantly his heart breaks for the people on the island who have no place to live.

A little piece of paradise is where Randy Hatada grew up surfing and fishing.

"We interact a lot with the outdoors," Hatada reminisced.

But his waterfront childhood home in Kapoho, near the eastern tip of the Big Island, no longer exists. It was destroyed by lava.

"It's surreal. I couldn't believe this was happening," Hatada said. 

It's a total loss. Flowing lava has consumed most of the neighborhood located in a little bay that now looks like a peninsula. Hatada has been receiving shocking footage from friends and family back home.

 "To be honest with you I haven't really digested it. I'm still wrestling with my emotions just like I'm sure a lot of people are, it's not reality until it is," Hatada said.

KLAS first spoke to Hatada just over a month ago when the lava flow was still a few miles away and he was holding onto hope. Waiting for the inevitable has been devastating. His happy place as a child is now covered in lava.

"Thinking about not being able to share that with my son is -- that's where my broken heart comes from," Hatada said.

But more so, Hatada says his heart breaks for the hundreds of people living on the Big Island that have been affected.

"There's no comparison against the people who have actually lost their homes. I just come back to that over and over because we still come home to a home."

Hatada, who owns a lreal estate company, says it's unlikely any of them will be able to rebuild. Lava fields are uninhabitable and he says most home insurance policies do not cover damages caused by a volcanic eruption.

"My heart goes out to the people who have lost their primary homes," Hatada said.

Hatada says he's building up the courage to fly back home and see the damage first hand. He is planning at least two trips later this year.


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