Hawaii Volcanoes National Park continues to reopen areas

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has reopened areas of the Big Island tourist attraction that had been barred to visitors for nearly two weeks after hundreds of minor earthquakes raised fears of a major eruption from a new location on the Kilauea Volcano.

The main part of the park, which includes the Visitor's Center, the Jaggar Museum and the Volcano House Hotel, have been unaffected by the closures.

Areas that have been reopened are Chain of Craters Road, Hilina Pali Road and Kulanaokuaiki Campground. Still closed are Puu Oo crater, the primary source of continuous lava flow from Kilauea Volcano for two decades, and the trails leading to it.

The sides of Puu Oo vent are collapsing, and the crater floor is descending, signs that the magma pocket beneath has drained away, ending, at least temporarily, the lava flow that had drawn thousands of visitors a day to the park for more than 20 years.

The hundreds of small earthquakes that caused rangers to evacuate the park for a day have ended for the moment, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory. Visitor attendance has been up significantly since the park reopened on June 20, according to park officials.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Margaret Myre at [email protected].

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