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Severely damaged Jaggar Museum may have to relocate

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    Thomas A. Jaggar Museum at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is seen on May 10, 2018, the last day the museum, located near Halemaumau Crater, was open to the public.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announced today that it plans to loan some items from Jaggar Museum to a proposed visitor center in downtown Pahoa, thanks to a partnership with a non-profit called the Mainstreet Pahoa Association.

Jaggar Museum, however, will likely not reopen at the same location due to significant, structural damage to the museum caused by tens of thousands of earthquakes from May to August, according to the National Park Service.

Geomorphologists recently determined the ledge on which the museum sits is “extremely unstable,” preventing future use of the building and grounds. It would likely take years, plus additional funding, to reopen at a new site.

“We’re delighted to assist the Pahoa community and provide an opportunity for the public to experience the Jaggar exhibits a little longer,” said superintendent Cindy Orlando in a news release. “This is a joint effort with the County of Hawaii and Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Mainstreet Pahoa came to us with a plan, a place, and a specific request that we are able to accommodate with no cost to the park, and it helps serve one of our park communities.”

In June, park staff removed artifacts and some exhibit features from the Jaggar Museum as volcanic and earthquake activity damaged the building and surrounding area.

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