June 6, 2018 Aloha Oe Kapoho! from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.
Big Island residents are in shock today, mourning the loss of not one, but two spectacular beach communities to the ongoing lava flow which began in early May. The current eruption of Kilauea Volcano, centered in Leilani Estates has destroyed over 300 homes in just 48 hours. The beach communities of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, some six miles downslope from the main active vent were inundated late Sunday evening. By this morning, lava had absolutely decimated the pristine coastal vacation spots, which included some of the best snorkeling reefs in East Hawaii. Many of the homes in the upscale gated community of Kapoho Beach Lots were valued at several million dollars each. These were vacation homes and rentals, as well as primary residences. Only a handful of homes remain there today. Although the total number of structures destroyed by the current eruption is in dispute, Big Island Mayor Harry Kim, who lost a home himself in Vacationland yesterday, said by the time it’s all said and done, 500 structures will have been lost by this date… and the threat is certainly not over. This eruption, which has advanced up to 656 yards per hour, and fountained up to 250 in the air, has covered 7.7 square miles of land, and destroyed many roads, cars, homes, and other structures in just five weeks. Residents of the Puna District in East Hawaii are reeling from this latest blow, many displaced, seeking shelter with friends, relatives, and in community facilities throughout the island.