Hawaii Volcano Observatory begins searching for new site

Hawaii Volcano Observatory begins searching for new site

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii Volcano Observatory officials have started a search for a new site.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday that a federal disaster relief bill signed in June has enabled the observatory to begin exploring new properties.

The previous observatory in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park overlooking the Kilauea volcano was abandoned due to earthquake damage.

The quakes were part of the prolonged eruption of Kilauea, which began in May 2018 and destroyed more than 700 homes in lower Puna.

The $19.1 billion Big Island relief package includes $49 million for a new observatory, which is part of the U.S. Geological Survey.

There is also a $20.1 million appropriation for ongoing operations in a rented, transitional facility in the Hilo Iron Works building and instrument and equipment replacement.

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