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As we continue to support relief efforts to communities in the the Puna district affected by the recent eruptions our tour operations will continue to run as normal. For up to the minute information on how the lava activity is affecting your tour or for more information on how to receive or give support to the communities affected please call us at (808) 331-8505.

Hawaii Lava Flow Fissure 8
Hawaii Lava Flow Fissure 8. Photo Courtesy of USGS.

Fascinated by the recent volcano activity? Get the latest details from these sources.

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FAQ Regarding the Recent Eruptions on the Island of Hawaii

I have heard there has been more than a dozen different eruptions, does this mean an eruption could pop out anywhere?
No.  While more than 20 fissures opened between May 3, 2018 and early June, there is currently no lava erupting from any of these vents. All vents were been confined to an area smaller than 200 acres near the town of Pahoa in the Leilani Estates subdivision on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. The east rift zone has been actively erupting since 1983, at or near Puu Oo.  Those lava flows buried more than 180 homes in various communities. Unfortunately, during the first week of May 2018 the eruption site moved about 20 miles down the rift zone into another area where homes are located. This region experienced a three month eruption in 1955. Which is about the same length of time that the 2018 eruptions lasted.

I heard this could be the beginning of other volcanoes on the island erupting, what then?
There is no way of predicting the future of our volcanic eruptions. However it is important to remember that the Island of Hawaii is comprised of five volcanoes, which all have separate “plumbing”.  The current activity is confined to one volcano, Kilauea, the youngest and smallest of the five that has been erupting constantly for 35 years. There is no science that suggests this event is a precursor to other eruptions on other volcanoes. 

I heard the island was covered in poisonous gas, is that true?
While high levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas were being recorded during the height of the eruption. The air quality on the island is currently the best it has been since 2005. Many repeat visitors to the island are aware of the Kona “Vog”. Vog is volcanic gasses that are blown to the Kona Coast on the wind, and itʻs thickness depends on wind and rain patterns. Since mid August, we have been experiencing almost no vog whatsoever. 

Where exactly are these eruptions located in comparison with my accommodations?
The currently affected community of Leilani Estates is located near Pahoa in the Puna District on the east side of the Island of Hawaii.  That area is about 25 miles from Hilo and over 100 road miles from the resort areas of Waikoloa and Kona. There are a few small B&B’s and Inn’s in the region, however visitors to the Island of Hawaii rarely see this part of the island. There is no threat to Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa, or South Kohala from the current eruptions.  

How will this affect my vacation?
If you are planning your stay on the west side of the island (where the majority of hotels and accommodations are located) or in Hilo (the island’s largest population center) you will not notice anything different except for the possibility of lower air fares. While there have been some closures at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, most attractions are open to visitors.  

I’d like to help the people who are displaced by the eruption, what can I do?
A fantastic grassroots effort in the community has sprung as a reaction to the lack of organized opportunities to help displaced members of the community. It is called “Puuhonua o Puna” (place of refuge of the Puna District). A lot of information on how to volunteer or donate can be found on their Facebook Page.

Why did Hawaii Volcanoes National Park close, and when will it re-open?
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed as a safety precaution because of the
possibility of an explosive eruption in Halemaumau in the summit caldera of
Kilauea Volcano.

The lava lake in Halemaumau began draining in early May as part of the
continuing eruption of Kilauea. A series of explosive eruptions happened in
1924, killing one person. This map shows the very localized distribution of rock
and ash fall (tephra). Those explosions were generated when hot rocks and
magma from the collapsing floor of Halemaumau interacted with groundwater
during a volcanic event that year.

Similar Ash ejections took place from June 2018 until early August 2018 causing a series of earthquakes that damages roads, trails, waterlines, and structures within the park. While likelihood of another ash ejection has greatly diminished, The park will not be able to fully re-open until the full extent of the damage is assessed and repaired. Park officials will likely re-open closed sections one piece at a time as they are assessed to be safe.

The rest of the island is safe, and we are definitely open for business!

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