Purgatory in Puna: Eruption survivors eager to return home — with or without roads

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Michael Gornik's home and temple was burned in a forest fire started by lava during the recent 2018 lava flow in Puna.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Sonneborn of Puna points to an opening in a pasture where a lava flow crossed Highway 132. A painted message reads "PLZ OPEN HWY. 132" on the isolated side of the road.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Michael Gornik stands near his former home that was destroyed by a brush fire caused by last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald From left, Rusty Perry, Jennifer Sonneborn and Jennifer Perry look out over the lava field before beginning to hike to a kipuka Thursday in Puna.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Sonneborn reaches a kipuka Thursday in Puna.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Sonneborn of Puna drives on Highway 132 inside an area isolated by lava flows Thursday.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Highway 132 is covered in debris Thursday inside an area isolated by lava flows.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Perry walks on the road that used to lead her home before being covered in lava Thursday in Puna.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Lava trees tower above a lava field from last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Perry and Abram Gornik view lava trees created by last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Abram Gornik views lava trees created by last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Abram Gornik views lava trees created by last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Jennifer Perry views debris on Noni Farms Road inside an area isolated by last year's eruption.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Noni Farms Road is covered by lava.

The largest eruption in more than 200 years to hit Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone stopped more than six months ago.