It was a little more than a year ago when the devastating Leilani Estates eruption in Lower Puna finally fizzled out after claiming at least 716 structures and displacing 1,500 residents. The last orange-red glow was observed at Fissure 8, the dominant vent of the 24 that opened during the eruption, in early September 2018, bringing to an end 35 years of near-continuous activity at Kilauea Volcano.
A new 128-page book, “Fire & Fury: 35 Years of Eruptions at Kilauea,” by Honolulu Star-Advertiser writers, photographers and contributors, provides a vivid record of the historic events that forever changed Hawaii island, with more than 200 photos and special fold-out pages, maps and illustrations.
“Fire & Fury” was designed by retired Star-Advertiser design editor Michael Rovner and features a foreword by the newspaper’s award-winning columnist Lee Cataluna and introduction and stories by veteran journalist Christie Wilson, who extensively covered the 2018 eruption.
Mutual Publishing is offering “Fire & Fury,” normally priced at $26.95, at a discount now through the end of the year. Books purchased at Mutual’s bookstore at 1215 Center St., Suite 210, in Kaimuki, are $18, with mail orders at $23 per copy.
The dramatic photos in “Fire & Fury,” curated by Star-Advertiser photo editor George F. Lee from 3,000 images of the volcano contained in newspaper archives, best tell the story of the Kilauea eruptions, starting with Puu Oo eruption that began Jan. 3, 1983. That long-running event effectively came to an end with the collapse of the vent on April 30, 2018, just three days before the ground in Leilani Estates cracked opened and molten rock burst through the surface.
“Fire & Fury” recalls the different phases of each eruption and includes eyewitness accounts of the awesome sights and terrible destruction wrought by the volcano as fountains of fire spewed from newly birthed vents and slow-moving flows consumed entire villages and subdivisions.
The resignation and resilience of residents affected by the Kilauea flows also are documented, along with the challenges faced by U.S. Geological Survey scientists studying the volcano and the technological advancements in monitoring conditions above and below ground and projecting potential hazards.
A two-page illustration by Star-Advertiser graphic artist Martha Hernandez details the inner workings of Kilauea, and USGS geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua, the first Native Hawaiian to head the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, offers his perspective in an epilogue to close “Fire & Fury.”
“Hawaiian chants tell of eruptions like these in the same areas, and geologists document the end result,” he writes. “Both traditional and scientific knowledge say these eruptions have occurred before and will occur again. Pele, in all her power, will continue to create new land.”