Madame Pele Puts on Magnificent Shows for 25 Years

KILAUEA, Big Island (KHNL) -- It's been a quarter century of awe-inspiring lava flows and heart-breaking destruction.

Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the Kilauea flow on the Big Island.

This quarter of a century long marathon, that is the Kilauea lava flow, has provided endless footage and pictures that entice visitors from around the world.

But it's destructive force is equally felt on the Big Island.

A dilapitated neighborhood is all that remains of the Royal Gardens Subdivision as law destroyed about 180 homes.

Kalapana's signature black sand beaches, are now but a memory, under jagged, crusty slabs of cooled rock.

"This is the way of life for Hawaii people and people must be aware of the hazards as well as the paradise of where we are," said Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim.

The lava flow has also meant a major boost to the island economy, as tens of thousands of tourists flock the area each year.

"There's so many awesome sights that Pele puts on with the lava that keeps bringing back people because it's never the same," said Talmadge Magno, Chief park ranger for the Hawaii Volcano National Park.

Scientists don't know why the flows have lasted so long and they can't always predict in what direction it will go either.

Scientists say the molten lava has also expanded the Big Island by 418 acres during the past quarter century.