Kaimū, Hawaii

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Kaimu, Hawaii
Kaimu
Black Sand Beach 1959, destroyed 1990.jpg
Kaimū Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, 1959. Beginning in 1983, eruption from the Kīlauea volcano began to affect the area, completely covering it by 1990.
Alternate name Kaimu Beach Park
Coordinates 19°21′30″N 154°58′30″W / 19.35833°N 154.97500°W / 19.35833; -154.97500

Kaimū[1] was a small town in the Puna District on Island of Hawaiʻi that was completely destroyed by an eruptive flow of lava from the Kūpaʻianahā vent of the Kīlauea volcano in 1990.[2] In Hawaiian, kai mū means "gathering [at the] sea" as to watch surfing.[3] The lava flow that destroyed Kaimū and nearby Kalapana erupted from the southeast rift zone of Kīlauea.

Before volcanic destruction[edit]

Kaimū was located on Kaimū Bay. The bay was noteworthy for its spectacularly beautiful black sand beach which was surrounded by shady palm trees.

House showing native and western styles in 1888
Black Sand Beach, 1959

After volcanic destruction[edit]

Now both the bay and the town are buried under some 50 feet (15 m) of lava. A large section of State Route 130 (Kaimu-Chain of Craters Road) was also covered by the lava.[2][4][5] The road is on top of the cooled lava now, with some homes built on top of the lava. There is also the New Beach, black sand like the old, where locals and caring visitors are helping to restore what was lost by bringing sprouted coconuts and planting them.[6]

New Beach on Kaimū Bay, formed by volcanic flows in 1990, as seen in 2009.
Visitor planting sprouted coconut to help restore beach, 2009
View from shoreline of New Beach looking toward Kalapana, 2009. Newly planted palm trees can be seen in the foreground, while in the background the steam plumes mark the active vent and lava flow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Kaimū". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. 
  2. ^ a b Summary of the Pu`u `Ō `ō-Kupaianaha Eruption, 1983-present
  3. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of kai". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. ; Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of ". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. 
  4. ^ PunaGuide: Beaches
  5. ^ USGS.GOV - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory summary
  6. ^ Puna Beaches

Coordinates: 19°21′30″N 154°58′30″W / 19.35833°N 154.97500°W / 19.35833; -154.97500