** Enaena Na Ahi A "Ka Wahine O Ka Lua" / The Fires Of "The Woman Of The Pit" Are Blazing

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** Enaena Na Ahi A "Ka Wahine O Ka Lua" / The Fires Of "The Woman Of The Pit" Are Blazing

In some letters received [here] this past week, it was seen that "the woman of the pit" has begun her extraordinary work, the volcanic fires, and she'll spread out her darkening cargo over the plains with volcanic matter. During the night of Thursday of last week, when observed from Kawaihae, a bright gleaming was seen along the side of the mountains, telling of the start of a new lava flow. It seems like the new eruption was almost close to where the lava of 1859 appeared, and was flowing along the northwestern path all the way to the sea. The flow of the lava can clearly be seen with the help of a good spyglass. The line of mountains was nearly set aquiver these weeks past. Within these past months, there were strong earthquakes that shook the Kona district, and its people began to chatter thinking that the "woman of the pit" will spew her volcanic fire brands. In the observation of those people seaward, considering the strength of the quakes, it was almost like the lava flow of 1859, and will perhaps become an astounding occurance of this year. The first flow of lava started on the 23rd of January, 1859, and the flow continued for weeks - with the channel of lava running for 6 miles, reaching seaward of Wainānāliʻi, and entered the ocean, turning the pond of Kīholo into a great expanse of basalt, and folidng over one side of the fish pond wall like a sea cliff. In 1855, the lava came from its own crater above, and flowed along one side of the mountain, where a second crater was established nearing the base of Mauna Loa. In that flow, Hilo's people were overcome by the chilling thought that it would reach the town and be the end of that place, but with six miles remaining before reaching the town, the flow stopped. Perhaps the most forceful flow was that of 1852 A.D. The stream of lava wasn't wide, but it traveled faster than observations could follow. The flow from the eruption of 1840 A.D. was also blazing hot.

By these things it can be seen, that every five or ten years the eruption flows this way, and from the last flow until now it's been nine years, and seemingly, "the woman of pit" will forcefully pour out volcanic eruptions during this year. By telegraph news that has arrived, the eruptions of the volcano on Mount Vesuvius in Italy are greatly increasing. Much fire has issued forth, but little volcanic matter.

After we wrote these things stated above, the schooner Kona Packet arrived yesterday, in a letter received from one of our friends, he was saying:

"Something new to tell you is this: On the morning of the 27th of March (Friday of last week), the explosion of the eruption on Mauna Loa was heard. A great black column of smoke was seen rising over the peaks of the mountains, and it became a great dark cloud. Afterward, the earthquake rumbled and continued on from time to time all that day and night and into the next day; there were few quakes on the following Sabbath. Some of the quakes rumbled forcefully, and a few places on the cliffs (of Kaʻawaloa) near the shore collapsed. Some folks here (in Kalukalu, South Kona) were afraid to sleep in their houses, and slept outside, fearful that their houses would collapse."


(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ke Au Okoa, Apr 2, 1868
, Book: 3