National Geographic : 1935 Jul
LIVING ON A VOLCANO 0 200 400 600 800 10o O STATUTE MILES 130° 140° 150° 160° EAST 170° OF 180°GREENWICHi70° WEST 160° 150° Drawn by C. E. Riddiford RESTLESS NIUAFOO LIES HALFWAY BETWEEN SAMOA AND FIJI An eruption blew off the top of a volcanic peak and left its base protruding above the Pacific. Around the outside a lava platform, partly covered with tropical foliage, slopes toward the sea. The inset shows Niuafo6 as it would appear from the air, a giant floating hat, the lava shelf being its brim, the crater its crown, and the lake a hole in the top. night of inky darkness. On the leeward side of the island, broken fragments of rock and pumice, along with sand and fine dust, piled 20 feet deep. The eruption continued in spasms, geyserlike, for 18 days, with re currences of terrifying clouds of dust that shut off the light of day. Only two months before, Tarawera Vol cano had erupted disastrously in New Zea land, indicating volcanic sympathy between two craters hundreds of miles apart on the same general rift in the earth's crust; and Fonuafoo (Falcon Island), nearer to Niua- foo, had begun eruption in October, 1885. Destruction of property by hurricanes and eruptions on the northern and western sides of the island have been lamentable during the last century. The story of the village of Ahau in the southwest is remi niscent of that of Sodom and Gomorrah. CALAMITY AND A HEADMAN'S PRAYERS Ahau, legend says, was founded by men and women who, refusing to conform to the laws governing legal marriage, rebelled against the strict High Chief at Angaha.