Mauna Loa lava flow blazes a trail for the Saddle Road
The following is this week’s edition of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory‘s Volcano Watch:
With the recent downgrade of the Volcano Alert Level for Kīlauea’s June 27th lava flow that has been threatening the Pāhoa area, it’s interesting to take a look back at the 1880-1881 Mauna Loa lava flow and the threat that it posed to Hilo.
A sketch by Joseph Nāwahī showing the 1881 lava flow approaching Hilo. (Courtesy of National Park Service, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, HAVO 394, Volcano House Guest Register 1873 to 1885, illustration by Joseph Nāwahī, February 21, 1881.)
On the evening of November 5, 1880, people in Hilo and at the Volcano House hotel at the summit of Kīlauea noticed a glow on Mauna Loa—produced by an eruption located northeast of the volcano’s summit. A vent at about the 3,200 m (10,500 ft) elevation produced one lava flow that moved to the southeast…
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