Friday, May 25, 2018

Lava Safety

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday morning, the US Coast Guard began enforcing a Lava Entry Safety Zone around the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entries into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island near the Mackenzie State Park Lower Puna region.

According to the Coast Guard, the unpredictable conditions could cause safety health hazards from possible localized tsunamis along the coastline and sea.

“For mariners without prior limited entry approval, the safety zone encompasses all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Bannon, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu waterways management lead. “All waterway users should be aware of the hazardous conditions associated with such an event. Getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death.”

The volcano erupted about three weeks ago, creating fissures that have already overtaken homes and vehicles, and are threatening a local geothermal plant.