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volcanoes opens

Posted by Jim MC50 on Sunday, 6 May 2018, at 4:45 p.m.
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Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reopened Sunday at 3 p.m. following a sequence of large, violent earthquakes that prompted a two-day closure and evacuation of park visitors and staff last Friday.

“Our primary objective is the safety of employees, park partners and visitors,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The limited opening allows us to respond to new volcanic and seismic events should they occur and the closures that remain are necessary to keep people out of dangerous and unassessed areas. Visitors should expect changing conditions and be prepared for unannounced closures,” she said.

Park staff are busy assessing trails, roads and buildings in the park, and thus far, minimal damage has been reported. However, several rock slides were triggered by the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Friday at 12:32 p.m. and a slew of aftershocks and smaller earthquakes that preceded it. The USGS reported 500 earthquakes have occurred in and around Kīlauea Volcano since Friday afternoon, and smaller temblors continue today.

The following areas are open:
•The Entrance Station from Highway 11 to Jaggar Museum is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Jaggar Museum will close at 8 p.m. (the outdoor overlook will remain open until 10 p.m.)
•Kīlauea Visitor Center is open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•Sulphur Banks Trail
•Steam Vents parking lot
•Crater Rim Trail is open from Kīlauea Overlook to Jaggar Museum only
•The Entrance Station to the 1969 lava flow near Mauna Ulu
•Mauna Ulu to Pu‘uhuluhulu (Nāpau Trail is closed past Pu‘uhuluhulu)
•Escape Road from Highway 11 to Mauna Ulu
•Mauna Loa Road from Highway 11 to the Mauna Loa Lookout and Kīpukapuaulu

Any area in the park not listed here is closed, including most trails, Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Kīlauea Iki, Devastation Trail and Pu‘u Pua‘i and Chain of Craters Road past Mauna Ulu.

Due to the hazardous and unpredictable ash plume coming from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent, there is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) above the vent. Aircraft (including drones) are not permitted in the TFR, which extends 3,000 feet above ground level and a two-mile radius from the vent. Relief aircraft on official flights approved by the National Park Service are the only aircraft allowed in the area.

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