Escaping rocks thrown into the sky, 1924.

The Deeds of Madame Pele, the Woman of the Pit, are Wondrous

Many Lives are Spared
From the Rocks of Lava

Rocks and Ash are Thrown into the Sky When the Lava Exploded This Past Tuesday

HILO, May 13.—Many lives were spared this afternoon, because Thomas E. Boles, the superintendent of Hawaii national park, foresaw the trouble and forbade people from going to see the crater of Halemaumau, just minutes before the powerful explosion of lava, throwing huge rocks to a distance of 2000 feet. Volcanic ash was shot 1800 feet in the sky above the crater.

The powerful lava explosion lasted for two minutes. There were eight people along with a newspaper reporter and a photographer who barely escaped with their lives when rocks weighing from a pound to 300 pounds, fell like rain.

Superintendent Boles fell twice because of the lava explosion. Belknan of the Hilo Herald Tribune was thrown down and was injured, so too was L. E.  Phillips, a sugar plantation head. James Webster, the luna of Pepeekeo Sugar Plantation and Mrs. Frank Cody  and a maid were sitting in an automobile during this explosion, but they were unharmed. Frank Wilson, the manager of Hilo Gas Company also escaped.

Frank Cody, the film maker of the Inter-Island Steamship Company [Hui Mokuahi Holo Pili Aina] barely escaped when he tried save his camera when the lava exploded.

The depth of the crater is over 1000 feet. This was the fifth explosion on that day, but some of the explosions were not as strong.

[I just heard a newscaster on tv question the reliability of the news coverage of this event in 1924. Please don’t take this lightly.]

(Kuokoa, 6/15/1924, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXIII, Helu 20, Aoao 1. Mei 15, 1924.

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