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Survivors of the recent Hawaii lava remember desperation and opportunity

HONOLULU – A volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has destroyed more than 600 homes since it began to squirt lava out of a vent in a residential street in the last month.

The new homeless are not alone: the Kilauea volcano has covered large parts of the island several times in the past century.

People who lived through past eruptions to speak of deep despair at the loss of their houses, and their way of life, but also about new opportunities and the perspectives they have gained.

Maria Dressler says the loss of her home gave her an incentive to work harder and get back on her feet.

When her house burned in 1990 she moved with her husband and their two young daughters in the video store they operated. They built a new house about eight months later.

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