Kilauea's Fury - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kilauea's Fury

Steam is killing trees and tree ferns in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Steam is killing trees and tree ferns in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

By Sharie Shima

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (KHNL) - Seismic activity was quiet at Kilauea Summit Wednesday. There were an average of ten weak quakes recorded each hour. Scientists say three large cracks have formed in the forested area of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

So far the lava flow which surfaced yesterday has charred nearly seven acres of land. And volcanic gases are causing browning and are killing off surrounding vegetation.

Scientists say this portion of the national Park is full of native plants and birds including honeycreepers, flycatchers, and the endangered Hawaiian hawk. Sulfur dioxide gas levels from Kilauea remain dangerously high in the area as well. As a result, park officials are keeping a four-mile stretch of Crater Rim Drive closed.

Chain of Craters Road and Hilina Pali Road are also off-limits as well. But scientists say there actually isn't much for visitors to see right now. In fact, there was just a single stream of lava was seen trickling into the ocean.

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