(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park expanded its closures on Tuesday, due to the latest, increased in unrest at Kīlauea volcano.
Kīlauea is not erupting. However, seismic activity in the south part of the summit caldera increased in the early morning hours, followed by a cluster of earthquakes around 8 a.m. in the upper East Rift Zone.
The National Park Service said there was an earthquake spike near Puhimau Crater, and as a precaution, closed Chain of Craters Road at the intersection near Devastation parking lot and nearby areas.
Park officials said the “Kīlauea summit remains open between Uēkahuna and Puʻupuaʻi, including Nāhuku lava tube, but Devastation Trail and parking area and the Keanakākoʻi Crater side of Kīlauea caldera are temporarily closed.”
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also reported that “there is currently no sign of an imminent eruption” and the alert level for Kīlauea remains at ADVISORY.
“Decisions to temporarily close areas of the park are never easy but are made as a precaution,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “Kīlauea volcano is very restless right now, and safety is our utmost priority. When USGS notifies us of significant changes, we will re-evaluate area closures.”
In October, due to unrest in the area south-southwest of Kīlauea caldera, the National Park Service closed Mauna Iki Trail and a section of Kaʻū Desert Trail past the Footprints exhibit to the Mauna Iki Trail intersection. The Footprints exhibit remains open and accessible from Highway 11.