Many of them faced uncertainties without knowing whether their homes were intact or surrounded by lava. On Monday evening, the residents crowded into a community meeting and looked for answers.
Will this situation last for months? Can I go to my house to pick up my pet when wearing a gas mask? Why am I told that I can not come to my neighborhood?
There were no easy answers amidst the poisonous stew of sulfur dioxide and lava that ripped through the floor. Meanwhile, the authorities were pushing for patience.
"Stick to the rules," said Hawaii Deputy Fire Chief Renwick Victorino. "If someone goes down, we have to go in and risk our lives, we know it's already a dangerous situation, if you can help us, please."
He added that it is not just sulfur dioxide that is life threatening in high concentrations, but also cracks and fissures.
"We do not know when and where it will happen until I stabilize it, so I suggest staying away from the area," he said Monday at the meeting.
A break in volcanic activity
The Hawaiian Civil Defense said that 35 structures – including at least 26 houses – have been destroyed and a total of 12 cracks have formed, including two on Monday ,
Although the activity of the volcano has diminished on all 12 columns, it is probably only a break in activity and does not necessarily make it significant, said Janet Babb, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist.
All 1,700 residents of Leilani Estates, as well as near Lanipuna Gardens, were asked to evacuate. But that does not mean they all have one.
"Some people do not stick to it," said Debra Weeks, director of disaster response at the American Red Cross in Hawaii County, regarding the evacuation orders. "You put yourself at risk, you put first responders at risk … If you know anyone out there, encourage them to come in – not just for their own safety, but for the safety of the community."
But even a quick home visit could be dangerous.
"Please note that due to unstable conditions involving toxic gas, earthquakes and lava, the safety lines may change at any time," said Hawaii Civil Defense. "You must be prepared to leave areas when needed."
But there were people trying to get into locked areas on Monday when police arrested two people trying to get roadblocks into the Leilani Estates subdivision.
"They've lost everything with the lava"
Larry and Geri Butler, a retired couple, learned that their house of 15 years burnt down in Leilani Estates after watching a video on social media had seen.
"They lost everything with the lava and have to start all over," said their son Christian Butler to CNN. "I'm not sure that fact has really reached them."
"Oddly enough, the knowledge that the house is gone is almost better than the fear of not knowing it," he told CNN. "They were evacuated Thursday afternoon, so they had a time when they had no idea if anything happened to their home."
His parents stay in temporary accommodation and are looking for a place to rent longer. Butler said he's trying to help them focus on the future.
"They're still pretty confused, but I think the initial shock is starting to ease," he said.
Eruption, earthquakes, sulfur dioxide and cracks
Dangers exist not only in the form of lava, but also of earthquakes and newly formed cracks.
Cracks on Highway 130 widened from 7 to 8 inches during the day and more cracks were found west of the highway.
The volcano Kilauea erupted on Thursday, spewing out molten rock and high levels of sulfur dioxide.
CNN's Jason Kravarik of Hawaii and CNN's Amanda Jackson, Joe Sutton, Susannah Cullinane and Darran Simon have contributed to this report.