Current Lava Flow Map
Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since 1983, but this current stage which began in May has been completely different. The volcano has essentially replumbed itself. The park, which has been where the action has been all these decades has seen the magma source cut off and diverted out onto the flank of the volcano in Lower Puna 25 miles to the east. And as the lava retreated, groundwater has seeped into the hot rocks more than a thousand feet below Halema‘uma‘u Crater, flashing into steam and sending coughing fits of ash into the air from the now-closed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Meanwhile, Lower Puna is seeing volcano fissures sending curtains of lava into the air, which is running into the ocean.
We’ve all seen on the news what it means for local residents directly affected. But what does it mean for visitors? It means that the park and areas of Puna below Pahoa Town are off limits. You won’t be allowed to get close. If you want to see the lava, you have three choices. Helicopter flights (which have to stay at least 3,000 feet above the ground for safety), lava boat tours (the large amounts of lava entering the ocean are creating an enormous steam cloud that is hiding the lava from viewers for the most part) or you can play a round of golf at Volcano Golf and Country Club which is only 2 miles from the belching crater but upwind during normal trade winds and has a dramatic view of the emissions from the park.
Is it okay to travel to Hawaii? – Read our blog
See Volcano National Park’s website for a list of specific closures.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
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