(BIVN) – One public viewing area within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has been closed due to high concentrations of sulfur dioxide from the latest eruption of Kīlauea, and the National Park Service is offering tips for safe and respectful viewing at alternative locations.
The Keanakākoʻi viewing area is closed due to high concentrations of SO2 and volcanic particulates, and National Park officials say the location will remain closed until it is safe to reopen.
Sulfur dioxide emission rates up to 100,000 tonnes-per-day were measured by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory shortly after the eruption began.
In Kaʻū, far from the summit area, air quality levels are elevated at the Ocean View and Pāhala air quality monitoring stations. The Hawaiʻi Health Department reports the eruption has caused vog conditions to return to the west side of Hawaiʻi island.
Optimal viewing of the reactivated Kīlauea lava lake inside the National Park is still available at Uēkahuna, Kīlauea Overlook and areas along Crater Rim Trail as of Monday afternoon. Conditions can change at any time, park officials advise.
The National Park Service offers these tips for safe and respectful viewing:
- Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks. Do not enter closed areas. Avoid cliff edges and earth cracks, they are unstable.
- Hazardous volcanic gases present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women.
- Observe the eruption quietly and respect Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners who honor the sacred legacy of this land and give them space to practice their customs.
- Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points like Kīlauea Overlook.