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Hilo Adults & Children Found Loitering in Eruption Zone

June 24, 2018, 9:00 AM HST (Updated June 24, 2018, 9:00 AM)
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Geologist makes early morning observations of the lava fountain and channelized flow at Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates on June 20, 2018. PC: USGS HVO

Two Hilo residents were cited by a DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officer for loitering in a closed area under Hawai‘i County ordinance (HCC7-10).

DOCARE reports Alexander White, 32, and Ruth Moss, 41, were cited in the closed area at the bottom of Highway 137 near MacKenzie State Recreation Area. They were with two children and were observed walking along the shoreline at Coconut Grove on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at 12:45 p.m.

The DOCARE officer says the adults and two children did not have personal protection equipment (PPE) and SO2 (sulfur dioxide) readings were 2.3 parts per million (PPM) earlier in the day.

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sets the safe level for S02 at less than 2.0 ppm.

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All four people were escorted back to the road block on Highway 137 where White and Ross were cited. Under a supplemental proclamation from Gov. David Ige, fines for being in areas restricted or closed due to the continuing East Rift Zone Eruption can reach as high as $5,000, with up to one year in jail. Since the eruption began, 76 people have been cited by DOCARE and Hawai‘i County Police..

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