Hilo had a close call from the 1881 Mauna Loa lava flow

  • The 1880-1881 eruption of Mauna Loa produced lava flows that came within 1.1 miles of the Hilo Bay shoreline. This painting by Charles Furneaux, “Night View 1880-1881, Eruption from Hilo Bay,” illustrates the first two flows as they would have been in November 1880. In reality, however, both flows would not have been visible from this vantage. (Image courtesy/Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.)

HILO — Over the last two centuries, six lava flows erupted from Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone and advanced toward Hilo.