Pictured: Before and after photographs capture the devastating effect of the molten lava that has turned luscious Hawaiian farmland into a sea of black ash
Pahoa, on Hawaii's Big Island, is known for luscious fields of anthurium plants and papaya trees
Lava that erupted from Kilauea Mountain on June 27 has finally reached the downtown area, obliterated fields
The main flow has halted but breakouts have transformed the town into a sea of molten ash
Pahoa has the highest concentration of old buildings in Hawaii, residents are prepared for evacuation By MIA DE GRAAF FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 14:36, 16 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:51, 16 November 2014
It was once a scenic holiday destination with luscious fields growing papaya fruit and anthurium plants.
But one slow-moving wave of charcoal black lava has crept across the Hawaiian town of Pahoa, obliterating acres of wildlife.
What's left is almost unrecognizable.
Before and after: Pahoa's vast swathes of green, luscious fields are now a sea of molten rock that could change Hawaii's landscape
A series of before and after shots document the dramatic scale of Kilauea Mountain's devastating eruption on June 27.
It has taken more than four months for the searing molten rock to crawl down to civilization.
Despite issuing warnings and deploying emergency services to prepare for it, there is little preventative action a government can take in the face of lava.
Pahoa, the 'downtown' area of the agricultural Puna region, has the highest concentration of old buildings in Hawaii.
The area has been transformed from sugar cane fields and timber yards into luscious nurseries of exotic fruits and plants.
A key landmark in the district in the Lava Tree State Park, which is an ominous depiction of the devastating effects molten rock has had in the past.
The park was originally a vibrant rainforest.
But now, it is a collection of grey, hollow structures covered in moss.
On November 11, a breakout from the main flow claimed its first Hawaiian home, which had already been cleared out and abandoned by its Oregon-based owners.
People watched as the bungalow burned and lava swept across the vast green fields nearby.
Authorities have closed the main road through the town and fear the molten rock could cut off Highway 130, the key access point to get in and out of the district.
The main flow has not advanced since October 30, but officials warn breakouts are still active.
On Sunday morning, citizens were assured the lava looks set to miss homes and residential areas.
Surviving the tsunami: ‘Suddenly the horizon didn’t look right’
Edie Fassnidge was kayaking with her mother, sister and boyfriend off a Thai beach 10 years ago when the Boxing Day tsunami struck. She reveals what happened next
Just before the first wave hit, Edie Fassnidge took a picture of her younger sister Alice and their mother. The scene was idyllic, Boxing Day 2004, the three of them kayaking off Ao Nang beach in Thailand with Fassnidge’s boyfriend, Matt: blue skies, clear waters, perfectly calm weather. “I remember saying, ‘It’s so beautiful here,’” Fassnidge says. “We were floating along in the sea, and there was a dramatic limestone column right by us, a little island in the background, and we were all really happy.”
The camera was still aloft when something in the air shifted. Fassnidge’s mood switched to high alert. “I caught sight of the horizon and suddenly that didn’t look right. Everything had been so calm and now there was a ridge all the way along it.” A wave was approaching them – her mother and Alice in one kayak, she and Matt in the other. They were a kilometre from the nearest beach, but only a few metres from a rocky, vertical cliff.