Erosion on Maui threatens temple, washes away gravestones

Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 at 10:29 AM HST
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WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Rapidly increasing erosion on the Maui shoreline is threatening a cemetery temple building and has swept away close to one hundred gravestones.

The Maui News reported Wednesday that the temple, established in 1906, holds more than 600 grave markers in its cemetery along the coast of Mantokuji Bay. Climate change coupled with stronger surf has claimed at least 3 to 4 acres of the property over the years.

Temple and community members have recovered gravestones along the shoreline and piled them up in the middle of the cemetery. But the threat continues as community members fear the temple itself could be swept away.

A planning consultant was hired last month to research viable solutions to protect the temple, cemetery and minister's residence.

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