More than 500 football fields. That is how much the Big Island of Hawaii has grown since the latest eruption started almost three months ago.
Though Pele is creating more land, she is also destroying places with special meaning to the people who grew up there. Residents in Puna feel a deep sense of loss and sadness.
They have lost more than their homes. They have lost history and the opportunity to pass on traditions to their keiki and future generations.
Champagne Ponds, Ahalanui Warm Ponds, Vacationland and countless other areas that generations have enjoyed have been swallowed by lava.
Ikaika Marzo was born and raised in Kalapana and has watched as Pele devoured each place, each memory, one by one.
“Every week we have something new that has been taken. The emotions that is going on in the community is just so much sadness,” Marzo said.
The latest spot threatened by Pele as she moves westward is Pohoiki and Isaac Hale Park. Marzo described Pohoiki as one of the last lifelines in the area.
“For that to be taken away, a lot of people in the community, especially local people, if Pohoiki gets taken, a lot of people want to move out of here,” Marzo said.
Losing Pohoiki is like losing a part of his past explained Marzo.
“I learned how to fish there, surf, swim from my dad and I hoped to teach my kids that…a lot of people surf there the connection for surfing and generations and generations go back”
The county worked tirelessly to allow access to Pohoiki until the lava covered the road.
Pohoiki is currently only accessible by boat or helicopter.
The USGS reported that the lava stalled less than 500 feet from the area on Wednesday, July 25th.
News Marzo was happy to hear.
“A lot of people are just taking a deep breath and praying a lot for nothing to happen right now,” Marzo said.
For updates on the Kilauea eruption and the lava flow check out the USGS website