Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopens with limited access

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a hotspot for visitors to the Big Island because of its access to active volcanoes and Halemaumau crater.

But when seismic activity ramped up on Friday — officials shut down the entire park — encompassing over 333,000 acres.

On Sunday, rangers were able to open certain parts of the park with limited access, with new visitation hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Kilauea visitor Center resumed normal operating hours on Monday, along with Hawaii Pacific Parks Association stores.

"What we have open allows us to mobilize quickly and get people back out should we need to," Ranger Jessica Ferracane said.

The park encompasses the summits and rift zones of two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

Annually, more than 2 million people visit the park.

"We've had to turn away thousands of vehicles since Friday, and tell them they couldn't come in to the park, but now they can," Ferracane said.

The area was re-opened at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Ferracane says visitors can access the entrance booth to Jaggar Museum. Two hiking trails are also open.

If volcanic and seismic activity makes conditions unsafe, officials say they will close the park again.

This story may be updated.

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