(BVIN) – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is now closed until further notice. The gates closed at 10 pm Thursday night.
National Park Service is shutting down the park, due to the possibility of a steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea following the drop of the lava lake. The explosions could produce an ash fall event – mostly a nuisance – for miles around the summit, but inside the park the explosion could pose a danger to health and safety.
Southerly wind patterns forecasted for Friday could also blow plumes across the park as well.
Only the Kahuku Unit will be open during its normal hours, Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The remainder of the park will reopen “when it is safe to do so.”
Jessica Ferracane, the Public Affairs Specialist representing the park, said during a media conference call that residents who have a post office box in the National Park will be able to get their mail at the Volcano Village post office.
Less than one month ago, before the current phase of the eruption began, the National Park Service shared a report showing that 2,016,702 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2017 spent $166 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,020 jobs in the local area, and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $222,394,900, park officials stated.