(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park could reopen parts of the park by September 22, which is also National Public Lands Day, “as long as the current pause in earthquakes and collapse-explosion events at the summit of Kīlauea continues”, officials announced today.
Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando shared the news at a community Talk Story event this afternoon in Volcano Village, at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. Exact details of what will be open are pending, officials say, but visitors should expect limited hours, limited visitor services and that only some areas in the park will be open for safe visitation.
“We have the difficult task ahead of us of identifying what we can safely open. Our first step will be bringing staff back into the park, while getting assessments done,” Orlando said. “National Public Lands Day is our goal but not definitive,” she said.
Most of the park has been closed due to increased volcanic and seismic activity since May 11. Earthquakes wreaked havoc on park infrastructure. However, since early August, no significant seismic or collapse-explosion events have occurred at the summit.
The Talk Story sessions continue Thursday, Aug. 23 in Kahuku at 10 a.m., unless impacts from Hurricane Lane force the park to reschedule. The meetings are a way for park officials to get feedback on the direction the park should take once it reopens. According to the park service, “park congestion and ‘pressing the reset button’ to examine if the park should return to serving more than two million visitors a year is one of the most passionate topics to arise.”