Kalaupapa is a small unincorporated community on the island of Molokaʻi, within Kalawao County in the U.S. state of Hawaii. In 1866, during the reign of Kamehameha V, the Hawaii legislature passed a law that resulted in the designation of Molokaʻi as the site for a leper colony, where patients who were seriously affected by Hansen's disease could be quarantined, to prevent them from infecting others. At the time, the disease was little understood: it was believed to be highly contagious and incurable. The communities where people with leprosy lived were under the administration of the Board of Health, which appointed superintendents on the island.
Kalaupapa is located on the Kalaupapa Peninsula at the base of some of the highest sea cliffs in the world; they rise 2,000 feet (610 m) above the Pacific Ocean. In the 1870s a community to support the leper colony was established here; the legislature required people with severe cases to be quarantined on this island in the hope of preventing contagious transmission of Hansen's disease. The area has been preserved as the Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement and National Historical Park, which takes in the entire county.
Despite the declining population, the post office is still active, having a zip code of 96742.
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