Hawaii National Park expands closures surrounding Kilauea volcano

Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The current eruption cyclone began on September 29, 2021, and has been off and on ever since. The volcano is over 100 miles from Honolulu. An eruption in 2018 destroyed more than 700 homes and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Despite the impactful event, no lives were lost.

HONOLULU – Earthquake activity associated with Hawaii’s most active volcano is on the uptick, which has forced authorities to shut down parts of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the Kilauea volcano is not erupting but has shown more signs of increased unrest in the form of earthquake spikes in the upper East Rift Zone.

"Decisions to temporarily close areas of the park are never easy but are made as a precaution. Kīlauea volcano is very restless right now, and safety is our utmost priority. When USGS notifies us of significant changes, we will re-evaluate area closures," Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh said in a statement.


No unusual activity was noted in other sections of the rift zone, which would indicate a higher likelihood of volcanic activity.

According to USGS, "unrest may continue to wax and wane with changes to the input of magma into the area, and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning."

Some sections of tails have been closed since October to decrease chances that visitors are exposed to rockslides and other side effects of earthquakes.


A year ago, the park closed the summit of Mauna Loa due to the threats associated with increased volcanic activity.

Mauna Loa is exhibiting normal activity and was last reported to be in code green, while Kīlauea is one step ahead of Mauna Loa and is considered to be under code yellow.

Volcanoes considered to be under an orange or red alert indicate a heightened unrest with eruptions that are considered to be imminent or underway.