Park expands area closures as unrest in Kīlauea volcano increases
Kīlauea volcano in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is not erupting but is showing more signs of increased unrest as earthquakes spike in the upper East Rift Zone near Puhimau Crater.
As a precaution, the park has closed Chain of Craters Road at the intersection near Devastation parking lot and nearby areas.
Kīlauea summit remains open between Uēkahuna and Puʻupuaʻi, including Nāhuku lava tube, but Devastation Trail and parking area and the Keanakākoʻi Crater side of Kīlauea caldera are temporarily closed.
The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is closely monitoring the seismic increase and change in activity on Kīlauea volcano.
According to USGS, “unrest may continue to wax and wane with changes to the input of magma into the area and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning.” USGS summarized the activity in an alert this morning, and reports that no unusual activity has been noted along the middle and lower sections of the East Rift Zone.
“Decisions to temporarily close areas of the park are never easy but are made as a precaution. Kīlauea volcano is very restless right now, and safety is our utmost priority. When USGS notifies us of significant changes, we will re-evaluate area closures,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh.
Due to unrest in the area south-southwest of Kīlauea caldera, Mauna Iki Trail and a section of Kaʻū Desert Trail have been closed since October past the Footprints exhibit to the Mauna Iki Trail intersection. The Footprints exhibit remains open and accessible from Highway 11.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has two active volcanoes within its boundaries. A year ago, the park closed the summit of Mauna Loa weeks ahead of its historic summit eruption in November 2023. As a result, no one was evacuated and no search and rescue missions were necessary.
Park visitors are urged to plan ahead and check the park website for any closure or hazard alerts at www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.