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In 1990, lava flows from the Kūpaʻianahā vent of Kīlauea destroyed and partly buried most of the town, as well as Kalapana Gardens and nearby Royal Gardens subdivisions. The lava flow that destroyed Kalapana erupted from the southeast rift zone of Kīlauea. Along with the destruction of Kalapana were those of the nearby town of Kaimū and Kaimū Bay, both of which now lie buried beneath more than 50 feet of lava. The lava flow created a new coastline.
In July 2010, lava from Kīlauea continued into the Kalapana region destroying a home that was only 5 years old, leaving 35 homes remaining in the Kalapana Gardens Subdivision. The 2010 lava flow partly covered the 1986–1992 flow field again, while attracting thousands of visitors a day.
Access to the village was reestablished and a thriving farmers market was held every Wednesday night until May, 2018 when lava flows impacted nearby roads. For many years the lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continued, for a time entering the sea at Kamokuna. In May 2018, destructive new lava vents opened in nearby Leilani Estates. Access to Kalapana was restricted to residents until July 3, 2018, when the road was reopened to all motorists.
- Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Kalapana". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press.
- "Lava threat to Kalapana Gardens subdivision on Big Island KHON2 Hawaii's News Channel". Khon2.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
- "RAW VIDEO: Lava slowly advances towards Kalapana homes". Big Island Video News. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
- "Lava flows go 'quiet' in Leilani Estates but 'we are not done,' county official says". Star Advertiser. 4 May 2018.
- "Lava-related restrictions lifted for suffering Kalapana". Star Advertiser. 4 July 2018.
- Media related to Kalapana, Hawaii (category) at Wikimedia Commons
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kalapana
- USGS: Pictures and information on Kalapana's destruction