PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two more people were cited this weekend for loitering in a restricted area within the eruption zone on Hawaii Island.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said a 32-year old man and 41-year old woman were with two children when they were found at the bottom of Highway 137 in an area near MacKenzie State Recreation Area.
The four were reportedly walking along the shoreline at Coconut Grove around 12:45 p.m. Saturday when DOCARE officers found them.
Officials say earlier in the day, the SO2 (sulfur dioxide) readings were 2.3 parts per million (ppm). The threshold for safe SO2 levels are less than 2.0 ppm. When the four were found, they did not have any protective breathing gear with them, the DLNR said, putting their health and safety at risk.
They were escorted back to the entry point on Highway 137 where White and Ross were issued citations.
"Under a supplemental proclamation from Governor Ige, fines for being in areas restricted or closed due to the continuing East Rift Zone Eruption can reach as high as $5000, with up to one year in jail," The DLNR said in a news release.
Since the eruption began, the total number of people cited by DOCARE and Hawaii County Police has risen to 76.