Last week, I wrote a blog post about how the lava flow has covered the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery (you can read that here) in Hawaii County, Hawaii. Today, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about how one family’s tombstone was spared.
There is a wonderful photo of the Sato family headstone surrounded by black lava. Aiko Sato visited the family plot before the lava arrived thinking it would be her last chance. The family was surprised and grateful for a scientist who photographed the surviving headstone and contacted them. There is a possibility of the headstone being taken by continued lava flows but for now it remains.
Check out the San Francisco Chronicle article here.
Yesterday the Kilauea lava flow claimed another victim. The Pahoa Japanese Cemetery was overrun by lava. An article ran yesterday in the West Hawaii Today newspaper about the cemetery. It can be read here. There is a video attached to the news article showing the headstones engulfed by the lava.
Another great article about the cemetery appeared on Hawaii Public Radio at the end of September. Click here to read about the history of the cemetery and see great photos of the cemetery before the lava flow reached it. There are over 250 graves in the cemetery. I was so happy to read that there is a map detailing all of the burials and their locations.
Hopefully, this information will be added to Find A Grave and/or Billion Graves to preserve for future generations who are researching their families.
This lava flows proves once again that you never know when or why genealogical records may disappear. Have the cemeteries in your area been documented on Find A Grave or Billion Graves?