State officials said eight more people have been cited for loitering in the East Rift Eruption Zone in Puna, seven of them since Monday, bringing the total so far to about 90 since early May.
The state’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers cited three people at about 8:15 p.m. Monday. DOCARE officers found the trio standing on hardened lava near Railroad Avenue and Papaya Farms Road, approximately 60 feet from the active lava channel. Malaika Maphalala, 49, Ralph Unger, 41, and Kumsa Maphalala, 18, all of Pahoa, were cited.
Early Tuesday morning a U.S. Geological Survey field crew that was mapping the lava flow with a drone reported spotting an unauthorized drone circling fissure 8 and flying back toward Lava Tree State Park. Hawaii County police and DOCARE officers searched the area around the park but did not find anyone.
|PHOTO GALLERY: USGS images of Kilauea’s fissures and flows in July|
During checks on Forest Road and in Nanawale Estates, they ticketed a vehicle in front of a barricade for obstructing traffic and numerous equipment infractions.
They also cited four people inside two barricaded areas for loitering in a disaster zone Tuesday and confiscated a drone from one of them. David and Sunnee Bishop, 40, of Hong Kong, along with Burke Holbrook, 42, and Nancy Holbrook, 43, of Honolulu, were cited.
On July 15 officers also cited Aaron Spicer, 27, of New Hampshire after he allegedly circumvented a checkpoint on Highway 132 on a motorcycle and passed several coned-off roads and a cement barricade to enter Lava Tree State Park. Officers also cited him for an expired safety check.
Under an emergency proclamation by Gov. David Ige, anyone convicted of loitering in the eruption zone could face up to $5,000 in fines and one year in jail.