HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s now quiet in parts of Leilani Estates.
In some places, the charred rubble of homes are all that’s left. In others, wide cracks can be seen splitting the fissures that now sit atop where homes once stood.
Empty shells of trees ― dried of water and long left for dead, but still standing nonetheless ― reach toward a wide-open sky from the spots where now-hardened lava has engulfed their roots.
At the end of Malama Street, a mailbox is all that’s left of a home that had the misfortune of being in the path of the molten rock. The home that once sat at this property is gone; all but about 10 feet of the driveway has been covered with lava.
To outsiders, it’s one of the few remaining signs that life once thrived on the plots of land that have been inundated.
In some ways, it still does – plants are returning, growing fresh again for the first time in months, and the birds and coqui frogs fill Puna’s air around the clock. And many of the people who still had homes left standing in Leilani are long returned.
But missing still are the families that once called the streets closest to the exploding fissures home, and the black, rusted mailbox likely hasn’t been touched by a mailman in more than a year.