Ash clouds from volcano prompts red alert on Hawaiian island

A 30-second captures the glowing lava lake in the caldera of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano as it bounces light off of the haze drifting by in the sky.

The island of Hawai’i visitors bureau has released new information in light of recent volcanic activity in East Hawai’i.

Plumes of steam and ash are being emitted from Kīlauea summit in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This is causing ash to fall downwind across portions of the southern district of Ka‘ū. Ash is currently being reported along Highway 11 to the town of Pāhala.

The visitor’s bureau has released the following advice:

• Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.

• Those with breathing issues should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

• Motorists are advised to drive with caution.

• All roads in this area are open at this time. For a guide on volcanic ash, go here.

As a precautionary measure, most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has been closed until further notice. Only the Park’s Kahuku Unit is open during its normal hours, Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For Park updates, go here.

According to a release from the visitor’s bureau, there is absolutely no reason at this time for travellers to change or alter their leisure or business plans.

None of the Hawaiian Islands are affected by Kīlauea volcano except a remote area on the island of Hawai‘i’s east side (see attached map of affected area) and the Kīlauea Summit. Out of the island’s 4,028 square miles, only a remote area of less than 10 square miles is affected – Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions in Puna.

As a precautionary measure, most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has been closed until further notice. Only the Park’s Kahuku Unit is open during its normal hours, Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For Park updates, go here.

• Air Access: All flights into Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole – KOA (west) and Hilo International Airport – ITO (east) are operating normally.

• Accommodations and Activities: All accommodations, activities and attractions on the island are also operating normally, with the exception of those in the area affected by the lava activity.

• Air Quality: Air quality on the island of Hawai‘i remains largely unchanged with this situation. However, air quality near where the volcanic activity is occuring can be hazardous (SO2-sulfur dioxide) and light ash fall may be present, and officials are continuing to monitor air quality.

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