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Kilauea volcano: Glowing crater, lava flows on Hawaii's Big Island

March 07, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
(Tim Wright / Associated…)

Kilauea volcano's eruption Sunday means the spectacular lava show continues on Hawaii's Big Island. The volcano, which has been erupting since the early 1980s, spewed lava 65 feet into the air after the Puu Oo Crater collapsed this weekend, media reports said. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Parkin a recorded message reports that as of Monday, steam, sulphur oxide and other volcanic gases continue to erupt from the summit. The park has closed Chain of Craters Road, all coastal trails in what's called the east rift zone and the Kulanaokuaiki Campground as a result. (Eruption updates: [808] 985-6000.)

That doesn't mean the show is off limits to visitors. Two places to watch the activity if you're visiting:

The park recommends the patio of the Jaggar Museum inside the national park. The museum is open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. but after sunset it may offer views of the glowing crater at the top. The Kalapana View Site, outside the park, provides vistas of fiery lava flows. It's at the end of Highway 130 and open 2 to 10 p.m. daily (Lava hotline: [808] 961-8093.)

And then there's the vog, smog-like conditions caused by volcanic gases. Most areas are clear. An air quality phone recording says only Pahala and Ocean View have moderate vog conditions, meaning people who feel tightness in their chest or difficulty breathing should remain inside.  

RELATED: Hawaii volcano spews lava 65 feet high after crater collapses

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