MAUNA LOA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Two eruptions at once and thousands of visitors coming out to see Madame Pele put on a show.
But, Hawai’i County Officials are urging spectators to take precautions while getting a glimpse of Mother Nature.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
Waldron Ledge at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park has been a busy day. Many people from near and far are coming down to witness the dual eruption of Mauna Loa and Kilauea.
Experts are calling it a once in a lifetime experience.
“This is the first time I’ve seen two eruptions simultaneous,” said Ken Hon who is a UH professor of geology and volcanology.
And, visitors from all around the world say it is a trip they will never forget.
“Well, my birthday was Monday so Mauna Loa started erupting on my birthday so that was momentous,” said Theresa McCann who is visiting from Washington.
“Pretty special, pretty amazing and how many people can say that they were here at the time of the eruption,” said Guin Meister who is visiting from Canada.
The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park estimates up to 2,000 visitors are stopping by to see the power of madam Pele.
The park remains open 24/7, but officials are urging visitors to take precautions while adventuring.
Jessica Ferracane, an officer with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park said, “we did close Mauna Loa road yesterday so that is off limits to the public right now. We do have Law enforcement throughout the park making regular patrols and making sure people are staying out of those closed areas.”
“In the national park, if it’s a first offense, that’s a ticket that can be $150; and if it’s a repeat offense, it can be much higher than that,” explained Ferracane.
Hawai’i County Mayor, Mitch Roth, is welcoming visitors to witness Mauna Loa in action but is asking that everyone do it safely.
Hawai’i police will hand out citations and tow any vehicles parked on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway between mile markers 16 through 31.
“It’s actually illegal to park on a highway. We will be ticketing you for doing that. Instead, we’re asking people to go to established parking areas, for example, the Gilbert Kelly Park,” said Mayor Roth.
And, as many visitors are expected to come down and experience the power of Mauna Loa and Kilauea, officials are reminding all guests to show aloha.
“When we’re lucky enough to see it, we’re actually seeing Pele herself so these areas are sacred landscapes to many, many people so it’s important that visitors remember to be respectful when they visit the park,” said Ferracane.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
Now, the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is urging visitors who are coming out here at night or in the morning to drive carefully and keep your eyes on the road.