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Kapoho to Kalapana on alert

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    Ken Gadd, a first-time visitor from Dayton, Ohio, takes pictures of the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Friday. The park is closed due to the threat of an explosive volcanic eruption.

Hawaii County Civil Defense issued an alert Friday for residents of Lower Puna, between Kapoho and Kalapana, to stay alert for possible volcanic eruption and gas emissions.

The alert emphasized that there may be little or no warning before such events and that residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

Hazardous fumes continue to be released from existing cracks and fissures, but no lava activity is occurring, according to Civil Defense officials.

Meanwhile, scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Friday that East Rift Zone intrusion and seismic activity appear to be moving northeast.

Flight restriction in effect

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction for a 12-nautical-mile radius around the summit of Kilauea. The restriction extends 20,000 feet above ground level.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park requested the restriction due to the possibility of a steam-driven explosive eruption in Halemaumau Crater at Kilauea’s summit that could send of ash, rocks and volcanic debris over the surrounding areas.

Shelters serve displaced residents

The American Red Cross continues to serve evacuated residents at shelters established at Pahoa and Keaau community centers.

As of early Friday morning, there were more than 150 residents at the Pahoa shelter and 30 residents at the Keaau shelter.

Nearly 80 Red Cross workers from Hawaii island, Oahu and the mainland have been providing on-site assistance since the Leilani Estates subdivision was evacuated May 3.

Park closed due to safety concerns

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park closed Friday due to safety concerns over ongoing seismic activity, the possibility of an explosive steam event, and falling ash and rock around the summit area. Only the Kahuku Unit will remain open during its normal hours of Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

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