News Release

Safety is Key for New Eruption in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Webcam photo of a glowing lake of lava
A new eruption in Kīlauea volcano as seen on a USGS webcam

USGS Webcam image

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News Release Date: September 29, 2021

Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018

Hawaii National Park, HAWAI‘I – A new eruption at the summit of Kīlauea volcano is drawing thousands of visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park eager to see the plume of gas and steam by day and the lava glow after dark. The park remains open 24 hours a day, and the public is reminded to stay safe by following these precautions:  

- Maintain social distance of six feet from others and wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, please visit another day.  

- Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks, and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
- Hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater and present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women.  

- Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points like Uēkahuna (formerly the Jaggar Museum).  

- At 1,219 meters, (4,000 feet), the summit of Kīlauea can be chilly at any time. Bring a rain jacket, wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight if visiting at night. 

Eruption status updates, live web cams, and planning tips are available on the park website.

“Viewing lava at the summit of Kīlauea is awe-inspiring. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we ask the public to recreate responsibly, maintain social distance and to wear a mask,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “We want to keep the park open for all to experience this new phase of volcanic activity, but we can only do so if visitors follow guidelines that keep everyone safe. We continue to work with USGS scientists to receive the latest volcanic updates, and remind visitors that the eruptive activity and accessibility could change at any time,” Loh said.  
At 3:20 pm HST on September 29, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow in Kīlauea summit webcam images indicating that an eruption has commenced within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in the Kīlauea summit caldera. The new eruption began four months after the end of the previous Kīlauea eruption which ended in May.  
USGS HVO has elevated the Kīlauea volcano alert level to WARNING and its aviation color code to RED. 
All areas that were open in the park before the new eruption began remain open. Vantage points for viewing the new eruption include Uēkahuna (former Jaggar Museum parking), Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff), Kīlauea Overlook, Keanakākoʻi, Kupinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge) and other overlooks along Crater Rim Trail.  

Last updated: December 30, 2022

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