Volcano Watch: Hawaii’s Big Island Residents, Visitors Warned of Potential Kilauea Eruption

By Lisa Grimaldi / Posted on May 3, 2018

A series of low-magnitude earthquakes on Hawaii’s Big Island are prompting concerns that the island’s Kilauea Volcano could erupt. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that areas affected includes Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates and the coastal area of Kapoho. Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea is located, has issued the following warning: “Due to the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity, park management closed 15,688 acres near Kilauea Volcano’s Pu’u ‘O’o vent to the ocean today, including the gravel emergency-access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana to the western gate at the end of Chain of Craters Road, and all land on the makai (ocean) side of the emergency road.”

“The recent eruption changes and increased seismicity around the East Rift Zone and Pu’u ‘O’o vent might threaten land and the community outside the park. The partial closure in the park is necessary to prevent unsafe travel onto lands under the jurisdiction of Hawaii County and to keep people safe,” said park superintendent Cindy Orlando in a statement. “Most of the park, which is 333,308 acres in size, remains open.” The statement encouraged Puna residents to sign up for Hawai’i County Civil Defense messages, and to subscribe to volcanic updates via the United States Geological Survey.

The park warning also stated that the current eruption at Pu’u ‘O’o is off-limits to hikers. However, the summit of Kilauea continues to erupt within Halema’uma’u Crater within the park, and is best viewed from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The park remians open 24 hours a day.

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