Today in West Hawaii history | April 5

April 5, 1984: Big Island Civil Defense Director Harry Kim says the behavior of a twisting lava flow from erupting Mauna Loa over the past few days suggests Hilo’s 35,200 residents may have to learn to live with a long-term threat. “Obviously, everyone will have to carry on life as best as possible if the eruption continues like this. We may have to learn to live with a real tenuous situation,” he said, noting concern about the possible psychological consequences. While lava continued to rush out at furious speeds, the orange and black river of molten rock was barely moving at its lower end, 17 miles down slope.

The recent eruptions of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes are part of a larger continual geological action which has spanned over 18 million years, according to University of Hawaii professor of volcanology George Walker. Oceanic plates, like the one the Big Island sits above, move and as they do, the relative location of the “hot spot,” which remains nearly stationary, changes. About five million years ago, Kauai was over the hot spot, three million years ago Oahu was over the spot followed by Maui and now the Big Island.

April 5, 1994: The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider an application by the University of Hawaii to construct an infrared telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea this week. The application seeks a conservation district use permit to build the $176 million Gemini Northern 8-Meter Telescope.

Hawaii County is owed nearly $25 million in delinquent real property taxes, plus an undetermined amount of back penalties and interest charges, from 6,549 individual parcels, according to the county tax administrator.

A series of wells drilled in Kona has confirmed the existence of a large body of ground water, the manager of the county Department of Water Supply announces. The highest level of water discovered was 500 feet above sea level. Before the discovery, the highest level of water was about 280 feet above sea level.

April 5, 2004: The Daughters of Hawaii celebrate 100 years of preserving Hawaiian culture and history. The Daughters of Hawaii’s first accomplishment was restoring Queen Emma’s Summer Home in Nuuanu, Oahu, before purchasing the property at Keauhou Bay where King Kamehameha III was born in 1914. Since 1928, Hulihee Palace has been under the custodianship of the Daughters of Hawaii.

Canadian Simon Whitfield wins the 2004 Olympic-distance Lavaman Triathlon at Anaehoomalu Bay. Kailua-Kona’s Bree Myers, competing in only her second triathlon, won the women’s division.