With Kilauea now erupting, here’s what you need to know for your trip to the summit

Kilauea volcano is erupting at its summit, creating fountains that were up to 100 feet tall and thick plumes of smoke.
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 10:06 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 11:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said it is expecting thousands of visitors from across the world following Kilauea’s eruption Wednesday afternoon.

With word spreading fast about the eruption, many made the drive to see the volcano for themselves.

“It’s pretty unreal, we just came visiting and surprisingly it was going off. So we just stopped by to check it out,” said Nivedita and Nick, who were visiting the park. “It’s a magnificent color and it’s so beautiful.”

Travelers are already making plans to the site with nearly 3,200 people registering trips to Hawaii County for Thursday through the Safe Travels platform. This is more than any other day in the past two weeks.

As most visitors will be heading up at night to see the famed lava glow, park officials said people should take extra precautions.

“Right now the mood is we’re excited up here like we always are, but we’re also cautious,” said Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane.

“We’ve mobilized crew already to go help with parking to keep people safe, and also to remind people if you’re coming up here to see the eruption to drive slowly, drive safely, expect long waits to get into the park right now and bring your flashlight when you come because a lot of our viewing areas are dark.”

At an elevation of roughly 4,000 feet, officials also advise visitors to dress warmly because the temperature dips into the upper 50s at night.

Park officials also said COVID protocols will be in place and asked visitors to maintain 6-feet social distancing and to wear a mask.

HVNP also reminds the public to stay on marked trails and overlooks, and to avoid earth cracks and cliff edges.

Officials also urge caution for those with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women as hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater.

The park remains open 24 hours a day.

For more information on eruption status updates or tips on planning a visit, head to the park’s website.

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