Tuesday, March 6, 2012

VIDEO: Last man in Hawaiian volcano town gives up after 26 years


Thick black lava from the Kilauea Volcano has covered the last standing property in the town of Royal Gardens on the south eastern side of Hawaii's Big Island. Jack Thompson built his house on the island in 1983, but an eruption of lava threatened it shortly afterwards.

Fortunately, the flow stopped right behind it, sparing the house. However, the latest lava flow forced him from the building on March 2, before overcoming the property over the weekend. Returning to his former property, Thompson said he was amazed to see the scale of damage just one day after.

"It's like a funeral. You know there are trees here that I've grafted and all of them were producing. Doesn't look like any of them are going to survive. This is just going to be a big piece of rock. Unbelievable." Nearly 200 residents once lived in Royal Gardens but Thompson believes this community has run its course.

"I think it's about the end of it. I don't think anyone will be living up here anymore," he said. Large expanses of land have been buried by the lava over the past 26 years. A home in Royal Gardens was the first to be claimed by lava on the island, back in March 1983.

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