Hawai'i Volcano Blog

Kīlauea eruption lures visitors 24/7 to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

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“The glow has returned!” said Jody Anastasio, education specialist at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, on Friday afternoon.

“Last night, the viewing was spectacular,” she said. “Within the first few hours of the eruption, there were high fountains visible from several overlooks.”

While fountaining had subsided considerably by Friday afternoon, visitors were still able to see small fountains and the crusted lava lake during the day.

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“Park visitation was already at a high for the holiday season, and visitors who were in the park yesterday afternoon and evening got a special treat,” Anastasio said, adding park visitation continued to be high Friday.

This new eruption is viewable from almost all open areas around the caldera in the park. While the park is open 24 hours a day, Puʻupuaʻi Overlook and parking lot are closed to protect breeding and nesting nēnē. The overlook west of the Uēkahuna parking lot also remains closed to protect nēnē.

The restrooms, parking lot and viewing areas to the east remain open.

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The best eruption viewpoints day or night are along Crater Rim Trail and include Uēkahuna, Kīlauea Overlook, Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff), Kūpinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge), Keanakākoʻi and other overlooks.

The public is reminded to stay safe and help protect park resources while viewing the eruption by following these precautions:

  • Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
  • Hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater and present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women. Check the park air alert web page before and during your visit.
  • Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points such as Uēkahuna (formerly the Jaggar Museum) and the Devastation Trail parking area.
  • Do your part to help protect nēnē by keeping your distance, at least four car lengths away, and never feed nēnē or wildlife. Handouts make nēnē seek out people and cars, putting them in great danger. Drivers should be alert for nēnē along park roads, always observe the speed limit and slow down for all nēnē crossing signs in the park and throughout the island.
  • At 4,000 feet, the summit of Kīlauea can be chilly at any time. Bring a rain jacket, wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight if visiting at night.

While an eruption is an exciting experience, the park also asks those visiting the park to see the eruption to keep in mind they are observing a sacred event. The Kīlauea summit is a wahi kapu surrounded with storied places and a fragile ecosystem.

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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will continue to monitor Kīlauea closely and report any significant changes in future notices. For more information about the eruption and hazards associated with it and for daily updates from the volcano observatory, click here.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel is a full-time reporter with Pacific Media Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism as a reporter, copy editor and page designer. His previous employment was at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo.
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