bomb

Discovery of Random Explosive Device Shut It DOWN

Oh, it’s just a bomb. The discovery of an explosive device shut down the Mauna Loa eruption viewing area Sunday afternoon while it was properly disposed of. Since then, Hawaii County Police Department reopened the parking area on old Saddle Road. They remind everyone to stay inside the enclosed zone because Volcanoes are dangerous.

Bomb no big deal

On Sunday, December 4, officers with the Hawaii County Police had to chase everyone away from the eruption viewing area, overlooking the spectacular lava blasts from Mauna Loa volcano, because they found a bomb. It took about five hours to remove the hazard to spectators.

Afterward, they sent out an email relating that “the closure was due to an explosive device that was located and has since been neutralized.” They make it sound routine and no big deal.

The police were thoughtful enough to add that they weren’t on the lookout for a mad bomber or anything. “No communities were at risk during this time.” That’s reassuring. They weren’t going out of their way to actually tell anyone where the bomb came from.

Fox Weather has the answer for that, though. Officials remain a lot more concerned about the lava flow, as it “creeps closer north toward Daniel K. Inouye Highway.” As of day 7 following the start of the latest eruption, the road is still open to traffic in both directions.

Forgetting all about the bomb, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported “Fissure 3 as the only active flow” with “minimal movement” and that “it remained near the 7,000-foot elevation.” They don’t even mention the words “explosive device.” Geological Survey officials only care about the explosive side of mother nature.

They similarly reported “the front of the flow was about 2.25 miles from the key highway. Over the previous 24 hours, the flow moved at an average rate of about 40 feet per hour with the rate of movement slowing over the past several days.” Explosives or no explosives, the rate of advance may be “highly variable over the coming days and weeks.

It pays to watch the weather

Meteorologists don’t study meteors. They don’t study explosives either. What they do study is weather and volcanoes have a tendency to wreak havoc with that. Because they watch the volcano so closely, they heard real fast about the bomb scare.

Not satisfied with the lack of a real explanation coming from official sources, FoxWeather found out where the threat came from. You can blame the Pentagon.

The local forecaster was thoughtful enough to explain to viewers that along with the ordinary dangers of 2,000-degree lava and ground which could open up and swallow you without notice, you need to stay in the designated safe volcano viewing area because of “unexploded military ordnance.

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It’s been lying around and getting more unstable every day since “the morning of December 27, 1935.” They tried to bomb the erupting volcano “to prevent the lava flow from advancing toward Wailuku River, Hilo’s water supply.

The bomb discovered recently was one of “twenty 600-pound bombs dropped on the lava flow that morning by the Army Bombing Squadron from Luke Field, O’ahu.” Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar came up with the idea.

If “the bombs could destroy the lava tubes or channels, it would stop the flow from advancing.” The flow did stop on January 2, 1936 but nobody is sure the bombs even worked. There may still be another one out there.

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