Ghost Towns of Hawaii

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Apua

County: Hawaii
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 19° 15′ 41 N, 155° 11′ 46 W
Elevation: 59ft (18m)
Time Zone: Hawaiian (HST) (UTC-10)
Established: 
Disestablished: April 2, 1868
Comments: ʻĀpua was an ancient village in the Puna district on the southern coast of the Island of Hawaiʻi in the Hawaiian Islands.
Remains: Destroyed by a tsunami following an 1868 Earthquake.
Current Status: 
Remarks: ʻĀpua Point, just south of the former village site, has a backcountry campground for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There is no drinking water nor other facilities at the site. Weather and surf conditions can be very dangerous. The trail crosses both old and new lava flows from the active volcano.

Kaimu

County: Hawaii
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 
19°21′30″N 154°58′30″W / 19.35833°N 154.97500°W / 19.35833
Elevation: 
Time Zone: 
Hawaiian (HST) (UTC-10)
Established: 
Disestablished: 
Comments: 
Kaimū was a small town in the Puna District on the Island of Hawaiʻi that was completely destroyed by an eruptive flow of lava from the Kūpaʻianahā vent of the Kīlauea volcano in 1990. In Hawaiian, kai mū means “gathering [at the] sea” to watch surfing. The lava flow that destroyed Kaimū and nearby Kalapana erupted from the southeast rift zone of Kīlauea.
Remains: Destroyed by a volcano in 1990
Current Status: Completely destroyed
Remarks: 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. 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 visitors are bringing sprouted coconuts and planting them to restore the lost trees.

Kalapana

County: Hawaii
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 19°22’09.5N 154°57’52.2W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Hawaiian (HST) (UTC-10)
Established: 
Disestablished: 
Comments: Kalapana is a town and region in the Puna District on the Island of Hawaiʻi in the Hawaiian Islands.
Remains: 1986-1992 lava flow has destroyed most of the town and royal gardens.
Current Status: 
Remarks: In 1986, lava flows from the Kupaianaha 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.

Kapoho

County: Hawaii
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 19°30.164′N 154°50.762′W / 19.502733°N 154.846033°W / 19.502733 -154.84603
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Hawaiian (HST) (UTC-10)
Established: 
Disestablished: 
Comments: Kapoho, Hawaiʻi was an unincorporated community in Puna district, Hawaiʻi County, Hawaiʻi, located near the eastern tip of the island of Hawaiʻi, in the easternmost end of the graben overlying Kīlauea’s east rift zone.
Remains: Originally destroyed by a volcano eruption in 1960, but has rebuilt a community of private homes and vacation rentals.
Current Status: While the original town is gone, the name Kapoho remains associated with the area.
Remarks: On January 12, 1960, residents of Kapoho experienced over 1,000 small earthquakes shaking the area. Deep cracks opened up in the street, and there are historic photos of residents inspecting the damage.

Mahukona

County: Hawaii
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 20°10′49″N 155°54′5″W / 20.18028°N 155.90139°W / 20.18028
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Hawaiian (HST) (UTC-10)
Established: 1899
Disestablished: 1915
Comments: Māhukona is a former settlement on the island of Hawaiʻi. The extinct submerged volcano Māhukona, offshore and to the south, is named for this area. The settlement was once the terminus of the Hawaiian Railroad.
Remains: The town which once consisted of about 40 families, was abandoned in the 1950s.
Current Status: In 1956 the harbor was closed.
Remarks: The bay is now the site of a park in Hawaii County. Although called Māhukona Beach Park, the shoreline is rocky and there is no sandy beach. Fishing, snorkeling, picnic areas, and camping are available.