Hawai'i State News

Temporary closures in effect as earthquakes increase below Kīlauea in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

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The summit of Kilauea on April 29, 2024. Photo Courtesy: HAVO

Kīlauea on the Big Island is not erupting – but a significant spike in earthquakes has prompted Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to close some areas that could put visitors and staff at risk if the volcano erupts.

The temporary closures include:

  • Hilina Pali Road is closed to all use. Kulanaokuaiki Campground is closed.
  • Overnight camping is suspended for all coastal sites, Nāpau and Pepeiao Cabin.
  • Kaʻū Desert Trail is closed from the Footprints Exhibit.
  • Maunaiki Trail is closed.

Closures are also expanded to Chain of Craters Road from the intersection at Crater Rim Drive, starting at 5 p.m.


“Safety is our main focus, and the uncertainty of where an eruption could break out increases risk,” said Chief Ranger Jack Corrao. “Elevated volcanic gases, dangerous lava activity, damaging earthquakes and lava-ignited wildfire are all potential hazards associated with an eruption.”

According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, it is not possible at this time to know if this increase in activity will lead to an eruption in the near future or simply remain confined below ground. However, the gradual strengthening of seismic swarms suggests that an eruption in the summit region of Kīlauea or beneath the upper East Rift Zone in the park is one potential outcome.

About 360 shallow earthquakes in the last 24 hours have ping-ponged between areas south of Kīlauea caldera to the upper East Rift Zone across Chain of Craters Road near Puhimau Crater, adding to the uncertainty of where an eruption could occur. Their magnitude has ranged from M-1 to M-3.


The increased seismicity has not impacted traffic safety or infrastructure projects at the summit.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes, making it distinct among national parks. In 2022, the park closed the summit of Mauna Loa weeks ahead of its historic and nearly two-week eruption. As a result, no evacuations or search and rescue missions were necessary.

Many popular areas in the park remain open, including Kīlauea Visitor Center, overlooks along Crater Rim Trail, Volcano House, Nāhuku lava tube, Chain of Craters Road and more. Park visitors are urged to plan ahead and check the park website for any closure or hazard alerts at www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.

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