Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, U.S. Geological Survey seek community input for recovery process

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seek community input to consider and refine the four initial design concepts for the proposed HAVO Disaster Recovery Project via a virtual civic engagement process. 

The project aims to repair and, or, replace park infrastructure and USGS-operated facilities and equipment damaged during the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kilauea volcano. The project also includes plans for the potential future use of the Uekahuna Bluff area, a site considered sacred to many Native Hawaiians and other groups. 

Beginning in May 2018, the park and Kilauea summit underwent a major change as magma drained from the chamber beneath Halemaumau Crater, and the caldera began to collapse, triggering 60,000 strong earthquakes and clouds of rock and ash that continued until early August. The seismic activity was primarily centered near the crater, and significantly impacted buildings in the immediate vicinity on Uekahuna Bluff, including Jaggar Museum and the USGS-operated Reginald T. Okamura facility and equipment, resulting in the closure of the area.

An assessment conducted in October 2018 found that significant investment would be necessary to make Jaggar Museum and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory-operated Reginald T. Okamura building safe to occupy and operational. The buildings are surrounded by fault lines and the area continues to subside on the crater side, undermining slope stability at the existing terraces and building foundations. 

The project also presents solutions to overcrowding at Kilauea Visitor Center (KVC), ranging from renovation to rebuilding the facility elsewhere in the park. The existing KVC building is inadequate for current visitation due to its small size, and the closure of Jaggar Museum has exacerbated the overcrowding of KVC by concentrating all visitor contact in one location.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the park will conduct the civic engagement online in lieu of public meetings. Paper copies of the design concepts can be mailed to interested parties upon request. 

To view and comment on the four design concepts and summaries, visit the website here.

If you have questions or prefer to be mailed the design concepts, call (808) 460-6212, or email havo_planning@nps.gov.  

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