(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park entered day 66 of the partial park closure today, and park officials say damage continues to park infrastructure on a daily basis.
The Kilauea Volcano summit area is shaken every day due to the ongoing collapse/explosion events at Halemaʻumaʻu and resulting earthquake activity. There have been more than 18,000 earthquakes in the last 30 days near the summit according to USGS, including today’s equivalent-magnitude 5.3 earthquake following another collapse/explosion at 2:42 p.m.
After updating the media during a 1 p.m. conference call, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park posted this update to social media:
Geologists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the National Park Service, surveyed some park trails earlier this week. Notable damage was observed to Crater Rim Trail between Kilauea Military Camp and Jaggar Museum near Kīlauea Overlook, as well as to Crater Rim Trail and “Earthquake Trail” near Waldron Ledge, Halema‘uma‘u Trail and more. Rockfalls have occurred along Kīlauea caldera walls, disrupting boulders loosened by the 1983 earthquake on Halema‘uma‘u Trail.
The geologists were allowed to conduct their work after submitting a risk assessment to the park’s emergency operations team, and worked during periods of reduced seismicity. In addition, the team stayed in continual communication with park dispatch, and all members were outfitted with personal protective equipment.
Trail photos courtesy of Geologist Darcy Bevens/UH Hilo’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes
NPS Photo of Jaggar Museum overlook wall/T.Guss
Residents in the Volcano area are advised to check their utility connections of electricity, water and gas after earthquakes, Hawaii County Civil Defense.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency also caution residents that quake damage is not always immediately evident. “Residents of Hawai’i County who have felt the ground rumble beneath their homes as a result of the ongoing Kilauea eruptions and earthquakes are encouraged to look carefully for damage,” a FEMA media release issued on July 12 stated.
According to FEMA, signs of earthquake damage are not immediately evident and can be cumulative. “Even small quakes can cause damage,” FEMA stated. “Residents should check their property periodically and document any damage.”
- damages to foundations, piers and pillars
- cracks in walls;
- doors that don’t close easily; and
- unexplained debris near wall and floor joints.
“Residents with losses from the Kilauea eruptions and earthquakes that began May 3 are encouraged to register for disaster assistance from FEMA,” the federal officials say.
They may do so:
- at the Disaster Recovery Center in the Kea‘au High School Gymnasium, 16-725 Kea‘au-Pahoa Rd., Kea‘au.
- online at DisasterAssistance.gov
- by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.