Photoessay by David Bacon
Every day I look at the photos and videos of the lava overwhelming people's homes in Puna, on Hawai'i's Big Island. I've stayed in the home of a friend there, which is now undoubtedly covered with molten rock. My heart goes out to everyone who's lost a home, and to those who've known this beautiful place.
Like many, I've thought also about what Leilani Estates will look like years from now. The landscape of congealed lava, after an eruption, is desolate and surreal, but in its way, also strangely beautiful. I post these photos of two places where I've taken photographs to show this, to honor those who now will have to deal with what's happened.
One, Moana Ulu, is a shield volcano on the side of Kilauea, where the eruption began in 1969 and went on for several years. The other images are of lava in the flow that buried Kalapana and Kaimu in 1990. In both places, on the congealed lava flow, you see the resurgence of life - fern and coconut seedlings pushing up through the cracks in the crust.