A little over a week ago there was a 5.0 magnitude earthquake which had the coconut wireless (the “grapevine”) abuzz. I even got a text from a friend on the mainland asking about Pele. That’s when I realized it made mainland news. It was one of the larger events since the “heightened unrest” began in mid-September.
The USGS Volcano Watch 10/23/22 update for Mauna Loa said, “Heightened unrest began in mid-September 2022 with increased earthquake rates below Mauna Loa summit (from 10–20 per day to 40–50 per day), an increased rate of inflation recorded by GPS stations, and inflation recorded on the MOK tiltmeter.”
On October 5 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed the Mauna Loa summit backcountry until further notice, calling it a “precautionary measure” amid “elevated seismic activity.”
The volcano at about 13,680 feet above sea level, last erupted in 1984. Since 1843, it has erupted 33 times, with the time between eruptions ranging from months to decades, according to the observatory.
The park’s online portal says this is the volcano’s “longest quiet period since written records have been kept.”
There was a presentation yesterday at Ocean View, almost 40 miles south of here, about the likelihood of Mauna Loa erupting. West Hawaii Today reported today (10/23/22) in “Mauna Loa meeting draws concerns.” It’s a long excerpt, but I find it so interesting.
HVO geologist Frank Trusdell compared the current seismic activity with records of previous Mauna Loa eruptions in 1975 and 1984. While he noted that those eruptions — the latter of which spewed lava almost all the way to Hilo — were preceded by heightened seismic activity and terrain deformation similar to what HVO has recently detected, he added that HVO has not detected “consistent and persistent” seismicity and deformation.
Hon said that, if that consistent and persistent activity is detected, then HVO will raise its advisory level to “Orange” or “Watch,” which he said would indicate that HVO is reasonably confident that an eruption will occur.
But, even if it becomes clear that an eruption is imminent, Hon said it will be impossible to predict where the lava will flow “until Pele shows us where it will go.” He said that Mauna Loa makes up roughly 50% of the island, and lava can flow in practically any direction from the mountain and threaten any part of the island.
Trusdell said that all 33 recorded Mauna Loa eruptions since 1832 have originated at the volcano’s summit, but 24% flowed into the volcano’s Northeast Rift Zone, toward Hilo, and another 21% flowed the opposite direction, into the Southwest Rift Zone.
This latter path — toward Ocean View — is the most dangerous, as lava flows in Mauna Loa’s Southwest Rift Zone have been recorded to reach the sea in as little as three hours, Trusdell said.
We just don’t know. I share this info, not because I’m anxious, but because it’s interesting. The USGS Lava-Flow Hazard Zone map shows that on the slopes of Hualālai we are in Zone 4.
Enough doom and gloom. On to lighter topics. Life’s short. If you always drink your coffee straight up, black, maybe try one of these international recipes to break out of your usual.
A Hong Kong-based recipe, called Yuanyuang, which has black tea, sweetened condensed milk, and strong coffee. I haven’t tried it, but I bet it’s good with some boba (tapioca pearls).
Tea and coffee reminds me of a chai latte. I’ve had one at a cafe, and it was good, but I still prefer EITHER a chai OR a (coffee) latte.
Another recipe from Homegrounds was the Mazagran, an iced lemon coffee. I haven’t tried this yet, but our neighbor has given me a lot of lemons, telling me to juice and freeze them. I did, but we don’t have a chest freezer; we only have so much room! In any case, we have lemons. To me, citrus and coffee sound like a recipe for heartburn. Maybe I’ll make a little one to at least try it. I noticed a tip that you can also add rum. 🙂
And a Mexican coffee cocktail, the Carajillo, if the impending doom gets to be too much.