Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

House burns as lava flows moved into Kalapana, Hawai‘i, in 1990.

Detailed Description

Slow-moving pāhoehoe lava gradually spread through the Kalapana community in 1990, burning homes and covering parks, roads, and gardens. This experience was extremely difficult for people who had to leave their homes and land to advancing lava. The experience was also grim for scientists monitoring the volcano and Civil Defense officials providing up-to-date information to residents. It wasn't easy to watch families abandon their community as it was slowly flooded by lava.