For as long as most of us have known, the Kilauea volcano on the Island of Hawaii (more commonly known as the Big Island) has always been active, providing a unique experience to the island with its constant “glow” from the lava.
Since May 11, 2018 the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park had closed to the public because of increased volcanic and seismic activity of the Kilaeua volcano. Over the next few months, the volcano eruptions caused devastation to the area, destroying over 700 homes in the Puna district as the lava flowed over the area. During that time, tens of thousands of earthquakes were also happening, forever changing the land as areas exploded and collapsed.
Kīlauea has remained relatively quiet since August 4 as the lava flow has moved into the ocean. As of August 2018, there is no molten lava visible from the island.
Most of Hawaii National Volcanoes Parks is open for visitors, although there are some areas that remain closed for safety. Certain areas are opening in phases when ready for guests.
Updates as of December 2018
Jagger Museum remains closed and will not likely reopen. There is too much damage in the area, and to the foundation of the building that it is no longer safe. All the artifacts from the museum are being removed and relocated to other areas in the park.
More than 700 homes were destroyed and over 2000 people displaced but there were no casualties.
Speaking with many of the Hawaiian people, they understand with reverence that the land belongs to Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes, and creator of the Hawaii islands. If it is her will, they accept it wholeheartedly as her wish.
In the three month period, over 80,000 earthquakes occurred and 62 of them were considered collapsed events with a magnitude of 5.1 or higher.
The depth of the Halema’uma’u crater increased from 280 ft to more than 1600 ft and the diameter more than doubled.
The air quality on the island has been the cleanest it has been for over 25 years. Since the eruption stopped in August and the lava flow has moved into the ocean, the vog (volcano fog) that usually encircles the skies of the island has dissipated and bright blue skies greet the islands each day.
For the most updated information about the volcano and status and the timeline of the eruption, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks has the most updated information.
If you’ve seen the volcano from a previous visit to the Island of Hawaii, you won’t believe how different it looks now. The beauty of the island is that she is forever changing and each visit will not be the same. I encourage you to consider visiting the Island of Hawaii to see and experience it all for yourself!
I was privileged to have the opportunity to visit the Island of Hawaii this month, as a part of my continuing education studies to become a Island of Hawaii Master Certified Travel Agent in Canada, through Hawaii Tourism Canada and the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. More about our trip and adventures can be found on my blog, “Bucket List Adventures on the Island of Hawaii“.