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Earthquake Causes Road Cracks, Structural Damage at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

May 17, 2018, 7:31 AM HST · Updated May 17, 7:44 AM
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    Building up to today’s steam explosion at the summit of Kīlauea, yesterday’s earthquake activity at the location caused noticeable structural damage in park buildings, and left behind a web of earth cracks and uneven road surfaces on Highway 11.

    The seismic activity also created sizable cracks and floor shifting in the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center and caused a temporary loss of power and ruptured several water lines.

    Most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has been closed since Friday, May 11 due to ongoing seismic activity and summit deflation.

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    On Wednesday, there were consistent large rock falls into Halema‘uma‘u Crater. On Wednesday morning, USGS scientists also found rocks two feet across in the parking lot a few hundred yards from the Crater that were reportedly hurled from the crater overnight.

    At the time, USGS scientists anticipated that the activity could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity.

    Close view of rock hurled from the Overlook crater during an explosive event on Tuesday evening. The rock broke apart on impact, and was about 60 cm (24 in) before it hit the ground. The location is a few hundred meters (yards) south of the Overlook crater at the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot. Note the ash covering the parking lot, less than about 1 cm (0.4 in) in thickness. PC: US Geological Survey.

    Park emergency managers urge motorists to slow down and use caution on Highway 11, particularly between mile markers 28 and 29, and Pi‘i Mauna Road, where most damage occurred. PC: NPS/Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park

    Park emergency managers urge motorists to slow down and use caution on Highway 11, particularly between mile markers 28 and 29, and Pi‘i Mauna Road, where most damage occurred. PC: NPS/Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park

    The earthquake also created sizable cracks and floor shifting in the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center and caused a temporary loss of power and ruptured several water lines. PC: NPS/Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park

    Park emergency managers urge motorists to slow down and use caution on Highway 11, particularly between mile markers 28 and 29, and Pi‘i Mauna Road, where most damage occurred. PC: NPS/Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park

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