Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rebuilding Kalapana – Eighteen years later

Pictured above is a new house being built on open lava fields that once were the infamous Kalapana Gardens. In the background lava pours forcefully into the sea. Many new homes have been springing up across what once was a most beautiful part of Hawaii’s Big Island: Kalapana, Kaimu and vicinity. Pictured below is one of the homes at the same location being destroyed by lava on April 22nd, 1990.

Beginning as early as 1986 a new branch of lava began bringing lava closer and closer to this piece of Hawaii paradise. But it was in the year 1990 that much of the area was overridden by lava and destroyed. I will not give more history in this post because it has been documented so well by others. On this link the USGS has offered a very good history of the destruction by lava of Kalapana with great photos.

In 2005 Kalapana Gardens was resurveyed to relocate original property lines and soon after a few people returned to reclaim their property. Some sold, others built.

Meanwhile just a couple of miles away, as the top photo shows, lava continues flowing very close by this new construction. The new homes do have a dangerously grand view of the ongoing lava activity: a line of fumes mark the underground and surface flows covering many miles from the eruption zone on the mountain and a nearly mile-wide swath to the sea; entering the ocean in two locations.

Visitors to the active lava viewing area were excited last night as they watched from a distance lava pouring into the sea. A sweet crescent moon hangs above the lava plume after dark and also the planet Jupiter.

1 comment:

  1. Sparky, Kalapana ! So beautiful to see life again there! Thank you for this blog.. very very informative! That moon? amazing!