On May 4, 2018 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was closed and I have copied the National Park Alert to this blog post because it highlights the recent damages to many of the places that I visited in the National Park.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Closing Due to Strong and Damaging Earthquakes
Date: May 4, 2018
Contact:Jessiaca Ferracane/Public Affairs Specialist, 808-985-6018
Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i Volcanoes
National Park is evacuating all visitors and non-emergency staff today
due to a series of strong and damaging earthquakes that continue to rock
Kīlauea Volcano. The park – including the Kahuku Unit – will remain
closed until it is deemed safe to reopen.
A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck at 12:32 p.m. Friday, and caused
violent shaking throughout the park. It triggered rock slides on park
trails, crater walls, and along sections of Chain of Craters Road. A
magnitude-5.4 earthquake an hour earlier caused a coastal cliff to
collapse into the ocean near the Hōlei Sea Arch. Narrow fissures
appeared in the ground at an overlook near Jaggar Museum, and throughout
the day, rocks fell into the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at
the volcano’s summit, creating dark ash clouds.
There are no reported injuries at this time. A flurry of smaller
earthquakes and aftershocks continue, and were recorded throughout the
“Safety is our main priority at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and it
is currently not safe to be here,” said Park Superintendent Cindy
Orlando. “We will monitor the situation closely, and reopen when it is
safe to do so,” Orlando said.
Hikes were canceled and about 2,600 visitors are being evacuated from
the park. Guests at Volcano House hotel and Kilauea Military Camp are
being relocated. All non-emergency park employees were sent home.
According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the active eruption
outside the park in the Leilani Estates community continues. Rock falls
and ash plumes at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater were prompted by today’s earthquake
On April 30, the crater within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on the volcano’s eastern
flank collapsed, sending torrents of magma towards lower Puna
communities. On May 3, lava erupted out of a fissure in the Leilani
Estates neighborhood, which was evacuated by Hawai‘i County Civil
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and
International Biosphere Reserve, extends from sea level to 13,677 feet
and encompasses the summits and rift zones of two of the world’s most
active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Its 333,308 acres provide
habitat for native plant and animal species. The Hawaiian culture is
closely tied to this dynamic and ever-changing landscape. In 2017, more
than two million visitors came to the park and spent $166 million in
local communities which supported 2,020 jobs.