It’s been a little more than four months since the Kilauea volcano erupted, and giant lava flows swallowed over 700 homes.
Now, officials at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park say it’s once again safe for tourists – just as long as they’re extra cautious when they travel here.
Kilauea volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, so when it began spouting out lava back in May, officials had an ultimatum for residents and visitors: Evacuate or get arrested.
Neighborhoods remained covered by volcanic ash for months. Earthquakes and eruptions continued.
The park shut down May 11, following building and trail damage, water and sewer line breaks and more than 60 collapse explosions in its summit area.
What the changes are
Superintendent Cindy Orlando announced plans of reopening the park by Saturday, September 22 – National Public Lands Day – but warned visitors that they should expect limited access, services and hours as well as long lines. Entrance to the park will be free on Saturday.
Because volcanic ash remains in many areas, park officials are urging visitors to bring protective eyewear and masks if they plan on hiking through certain trails.
A big concern continues to be unpredictable weather and more volcanic eruptions.
There’s also a special reopening advisory, warning visitors of hazardous conditions such as unpredictable rockfalls and sinkholes.
“The dramatic landscape of Kilauea is constantly being shaped by powerful and uncontrollable natural forces,” the advisory states. “Respect the dangers of this dynamic natural process and stay out of closed areas.”