Kalapana Safe Viewing Program Has Daily Telephone Hotline Updates

Hawai`i County Civil Defense has set up a new telephone hotline to provide daily updates on viewing at the Kalapana Safe Viewing site.

The lava hotline phone number is 961-8093, which lets you know the lava viewing hours for the day ahead. The lava hotline automated message is updated every day at 10 a.m.

The Kalapana Safe Viewing program at the volcanic eruption site is a wonderful natural attraction, and the County Civil Defense Agency wants all visitors to enjoy the experience in safety and comfort.

With that in mind, we encourage visitors to prepare not only for sunny days at the lava viewing sight but also for rain. Please note that there are no shelters at the site in case of rain.

For your comfort and convenience, please prepare for rain keeping in mind any trip hazard:

· An umbrella and/or

· Windbreaker or raincoat

Visitors are also strongly advised to take the following gear for both safety and comfort:

· Bottled water (2-3 quarts or liters per person)

· Sturdy closed boots or shoes and socks

· Flashlight (1 per person) and fresh batteries

· Long pants

· Sun hat and sunscreen

· Binoculars (optional)

Visitors are allowed entry to the viewing area every day from 2 p.m., with the last vehicles admitted at 8:00

p.m. This will allow officials to ensure that everybody is out of the area by 10 p.m. The viewing area is closed between 10 pm and 2 pm. This schedule is subject to change; hazardous conditions may require changes to the schedule or closure.

Visitors are reminded to obey all the warning signs and stay within the allowed areas to ensure their safety. The newly formed lava and black sand beach are extremely unstable, and can collapse into the ocean at any time. Visitors must stay well away from the volcanic steam clouds which contain hydrochloric acid and glass particles.

Please note: There is no cell phone coverage in the viewing area.

We ask that visitors show the greatest courtesy and respect to the local residents and property owners. Please remember never to go off the road or trail, and please dispose of all trash in the garbage cans provided. Guide/interpreters will be on hand in the viewing area to provide information and assistance. For more information, please call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

For the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory’s eruption updates online, please click on http://lavainfo.us/ .

The Big Island Visitors Bureau has created a new section of its website with all of the information we've been trying to get out to the public. Click on http://www.bigisland.org/parks/939/volcano-eruption-update .

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