Aloha Friday: Black Sand - Ledward Kaapana

The beautiful old Kaimu black sand beach near Kalapana, in the Puna district of Hawaii's Big Island, was featured in the movie South Pacific. That wide beach, with its coconut trees swaying in the trade winds, was situated near Kalapana on the east side of Hawai'i. It is completly gone the past couple decades, buried under 25 meters of lava. So too gone is the little village of Kaimu, destroyed with the beach in 1990 by a lava flow from a vent of the volcano of Kilauea. There is a new beach below nearby cliffs, but it is a mere shadow of the beach my wife and I visited on our honeymoon in 1985.

The Hawaiians called Pele of the volcano "ka wahine ai honua," "the woman who devours the earth." Perhaps calling flows from Kilauea a "devouring" is not completely fair, since the volcano makes new land as it devours the old, yet that is poor comfort to those whose homes are gone. God help the villages of south Puna, especially Pahoa, during the current lava flows.

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