HONOLULU (KHON2) — A cliff top at the summit of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has reopened to the public.
Uekahuna closed in 2018 after magma, drained from summit crater Halemaʻumaʻu, triggered months of repetitive earthquakes, damaging ash clouds and the eventual collapse of Kilauea summit.
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A section of Crater Rim Drive dropped into the crater and park buildings, roads and infrastructure were badly damaged.
“We are so pleased to welcome the community and visitors back to Uekahuna, one of the most remarkable and revered sites in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park,” said Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “Data from multiple post-disaster assessments indicate the areas do not pose an immediate risk as long as people stay on trail and stay away from the cliff edges. The National Park Service will continue to closely monitor the area, and respond as necessary to any changes.”
A half-mile of Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail west of Kilauea Overlook have also reopened.
The National Park Service (NPS) says it invested significant effort into making the trails and Uekahuna safe to reopen. Workers installed post and cable railing between Kilauea Overlook to the west of the former Jaggar Museum to keep people away from hazards like undercut edges, earth cracks and sink holes. Voids and cracks have been repaired, and a fence prevents entry into the now-closed Jaggar Museum area. Safety signs mark closed areas, and the restrooms, signs and some trails are lit to aid in nighttime visitation.
The NPS also installed crack monitors between Kīlauea Overlook and Uēkahuna to determine changes that signal instability.