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Kīlauea Erupts as Tradewinds Clear Hawaiian Skies

Kīlauea Erupts as Tradewinds Clear Hawaiian Skies (Forimmediaterelease.net) Hawai‘i’s most active volcano continues to dazzle visitors and residents
Volcano, Hawai‘i’s Big Island
Pele, Hawai‘i’s volcano goddess, must be in a fantastic mood. Her favorite flower, the bright red ‘ōhi‘a lehua, is in vivid bloom in native forests across the island, and she continues to put on a spectacular show in two locations: at the summit of Kīlauea volcano at Halema‘uma‘u Crater, and in Kalapana, where the lava reaches the sea.

Polly Kinsinger, a visitor from Redondo Beach, California, made a special trip to the Big Island to take in the spectacle late last week, and is still energized about her experience.

“It’s incredible. We went to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on a crystal-clear morning, and watched the new vent at Halema‘uma‘u gush what looks like boiling steam out of a huge pit in the side of the crater. Then after dark, we walked out to the Kalapana lava viewing area, and watched the molten lava turn the steam clouds red and pink as it entered the ocean,” she said. “Just spectacular!”

But that wasn’t enough.

“After spending an hour or so at Kalapana, my friends and I drove back up to the Park. We had to see what Halema‘uma‘u looked like after dark. We pulled up to Jaggar Museum, got out of the car, and were stunned into silence. The vent glowed like the world’s biggest cauldron. It felt like Pele was right there with us. It was magic,” said Kinsinger.

Cindy Orlando, Superintendent of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, confirms that Halema‘uma‘u Crater – the home of Pele, according to Hawaiian legend – is a sight to behold, and that it’s safe to visit the Island of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, despite recent negative press about elevated levels of vog (volcanic haze) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) caused by the increased activity at Kīlauea volcano.

The SO2 levels near the plume aren’t dangerous to anyone upwind, but exposure to high levels can be a concern, especially to anyone with respiratory conditions. As long as Hawai‘i’s customary tradewinds are blowing, Park visitors are safe. A delegation of scientists, local and federal officials are monitoring the situation, and keeping the public well informed.
But what about the Kona and Kohala coasts? Though the air may sometimes look hazy in West Hawai‘i, there is very little SO2 left in it by then. At press time, the weather was sunny, clear and mild at the Kohala Coast resorts, with Maui visible across the channel.
The Big Island Visitors Bureau recently launched a new user-friendly volcano eruption update page on its www.bigisland.org website, www.bigisland.org/volcanoupdate, where air quality and Kīlauea emissions information can be downloaded.

For the latest eruption updates and Hawai‘i volcanoes information, visit the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory site, http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov

For additional eruption updates, call Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at (808) 985-6000 or visit www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm.

For additional information on conditions at the Kalapana lava view area, call the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense lava hotline at (808) 961-8093, or visit www.lavainfo.us

NOTE: BIVB recognizes the use of diacritical markings, i.e., glottal stop (‘), macron (ā), in place names of Hawai‘i, such as Kīlauea. However, BIVB respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.

Big Island Visitors Bureau Media Contact:
Jessica Ferracane, Irondog Communications, (808) 895-5740, jessica@irondogpr.com

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