Devastating earthquake and tsunami, 1868.

Terrifyingly Powerful Earthquake

Please place this in some open area of your columns; the story of this huge earthquake mentioned above, in the District of Puna, and perhaps other places as well.

When I turned back with my travel companions on the road from Kapapala, we didn’t reach our home (Kahaualea), but between those places we were met with an earthquake, leaning this way and that as we groped around for something solid to hold on to, and one of my friends saw the ground before us splitting open, whereupon he cried out and stood elsewhere; as for me, I tipped over and heard up close the rumbling of the earth, and I said to my companions, “What is happening to us?” One of us answered, “Maybe this is an earthquake that is causing us this fright.” I then said, “How awesomely frightening; if the ground rumbles and splits open and we are swallowed up, then we are all dead, just like the Anak [Anaka] people who were swallowed in the earth.

The length of the earthquake upon us was like six minute, and when it was over, we headed back while constantly seeing at the places where the earth split open in the road; some were the size of a man’s foot, and were several inches wide at some places. And when we reached out houses, the ohana was there who experienced the same thing. I saw our eating house [hale paina] (a stone building) which collapsed; and the dishes were all broken.

It was as if the damage seen was from the earthquake, but it also came from the sea; we went down to the shore (where much of our houses were). When we looked, we saw the boats were smashed in little pieces, and inland, the earthquake made houses topple, the stone walls of the church collapse, house fences fall, fish ponds dry up; some survived. Toward the sea, five canoes were splintered, some house fences fell, and the water entered some houses where people lived. It was all messed up.

For those whose lives were in danger, when the water entered their houses, a man named Kapai got up with his two children and ran out, but they were taken by the sea and died, so too with some women and their children, they were beaten by the sea; some people with their daughter escaped by running and climbing a hala tree. Auwe! Auwe! in dire straits. Make haste O Ke Au Okoa, speed on the wings of the wind to report of this frightening news here in Puna and perhaps elsewhere as well. B. H. M. Kailiwahine.

Kaukeano, Puna, Hawaii, April 12, 1868.

P. S. It was on the 2nd of April, at maybe 5 in the evening that the tremors began, and it did not let up at all until the setting of the sun, and at dawn, the earthquakes were strong. B. H. M. K.

(Au Okoa, 4/16/1868, p. 3)

He olai nui Weliweli.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke III, Helu 52, Aoao 3. Aperila 16, 1868.

More on the Earthquake and Tsunami of 1862.

[Found under: “NEWS FROM HERE IN HAWAII.”]

We received a letter from D. W. Kaiue of Waialua, Molokai, written on the 3rd of Feb. telling of the great tsunami [kaikoo] at Molokai. And these are his words:

“This Tuesday, the 28th of this past January. A high tide began in Kona, Molokai. This is the first time such big waves were seen here; the kamaaina said that they had never seen such a big tsunami [kaikoo] like this before. The fishponds were destroyed, and the road at Keanoaio at Kumimi are ruined. The homes of Timoteo in Halawa were inundated, and the lanai was wrecked, on the night of the 29th; it was indeed a huge kaikoo, and a strong Earthquake at daybreak; the ground and homes shook for perhaps five Seconds. Those inside sleeping were awakened. The working of the Highest God is amazing.”

[See the comment by Gerard Fryer in response to the earlier post on this same natural disaster (as well as all the other uploaded related articles). The Hawaiian-Language Newspapers need to be studied for information in all fields of knowledge! …And again, in order for all the information from those newspapers to be read and understood, they need to be rescanned clearly before they disintegrate from the acids within the paper itself.]

(Kuokoa, 3/8/1862, p. 2)

Ua loaa ia makou, he palapala...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 15, Aoao 2. Maraki 8, 1862.

And more on tsunami, 1862.

Rough Seas.

On Tuesday, the 28th of January, at Waialua, Molokai, there was great rough seas that cannot be equalled. The fishponds from Moanui to Puako were smashed by the sea. The street in Hoonouliwai [Honouliwai] was broken up and horses cannot travel there. On the night of the 29th, there was a large earthquake; the shaking of the land lasted for five seconds. That is what M. Timoteo wrote to us.

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 2/20/1862, p. 2)

Kaikoo nui.

Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke I, Helu 22, Aoao 2. Feberuari 20, 1862.

More on tsunami, 1862.

[Found under: “NEWS OF HAWAII NEI.”]

Water and the rough seas.—We received a letter from W. G. Kawainui of Hakalau, Hilo, Hawaii, telling us of the big rain and the rough seas in that area on the night of the 28th of this past January; a store of a Chinese floated away, and the water and tide reached areas not reached before; the things happening these days are truly something new for our islands.

(Kuokoa, 2/15/1862, p. 2)

Wai a me ke kaikoo.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 12, Aoao 2. Feberuari 15, 1862.

Huge Tsunami, 1862.

[Found under: “NEWS OF HAWAII NEI.”]

Large Tsunami [Kaikoo].—We received a letter written by Mr. E. Makaioulu of Haena, Keaau, Puna, Hawaii, on this past 29th of January, telling of the great tsunami at that place on the night of the 29th [28th] of that same month, and this is what he said.

“On the night of the 28th of this past January, an enormous kaikoo was seen in Keaau, Puna, Hawaii; it was a very big kaikoo with accompanying winds from the west, and the ocean was covered over with black rain clouds. The waves pounded and reached the barren plains high up inland, and the government road was smashed, as well as the fishpond of Keaau loa. The pounding of the ocean was like that of Egypt in the Red Sea, killing the Pharaoh and his war chariots; and we made it through those large waves in the night. We thought that is was the second Great Flood [Kai a Kahinalii] from the time of Noah, the prophet of Jehovah.”

[Anyone have more information on this fishpond?]

(Kuokoa, 2/15/1862, p. 2)

Kaikoo nui.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 12, Aoao 2. Feberuari 15, 1862.