More than 1,700 people have been forced to leave the area, and could be told to stay away for some time.
Officials said the decimated homes were in the Leilani Estates subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground.
Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said the number of destroyed homes could rise.
“This is heartbreaking,” she said.
Amber Makuakane, 37, a teacher and single mother of two, said her three-bedroom house in Leilani Estates was destroyed by lava.
“There was some steam rising from all parts of the yard, but everything looked fine,” Ms Makuakane said.
On Saturday morning, she received alerts from her security system that motion sensors throughout the house had been triggered.. see more