Volcano Eruption Zone Loiterers Face Stiffer Penalties, Nearly 40 Cited to Date

June 16, 2018, 5:30 PM HST · Updated June 16, 5:46 PM
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A close up view of the pāhoehoe breakouts along the northern ocean entry. PC: US Geological Survey. June 14, 2018

Individuals who are caught loitering in the Kīlauea eruption zone face potentially stiffer penalties including fines and jail time.

Earlier this month Governor David Ige issued a supplemental proclamation which provides fines of up to $5,000 and potentially a year in jail for those convicted of loitering in a closed area. In the proclamation Governor Ige stated, “I find there is a need to strengthen the enforcement tools available to county and state emergency management officials in controlling public access to dangerous areas and associated evacuation efforts as a result of the failure of the public to comply with instructions and orders issued by officials.”

Prior to the enactment of more severe penalties, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement had issued more than three dozen people citations. Some of those cited over the past week, and a half in various closed areas, could face the new penalties if convicted.

With the latest round of citations officers have now cited nearly 40 people since the East Rift Zone eruption began in early May.

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The ages of the suspects cited for loitering in a closed area were not immediately available. Recent citations include the following:

June 9

  • Fransiska Bass-Hawaiian Paradise Park (cited at MacKenzie State Recreation Area)
  • Marshall Lund-Hawaiian Paradise Park (cited at MacKenzie State Recreation Area)

June 10

  • Gabrielle Jaitt-Pahoa (cited at Paakikii or Coconut Grove)
  • Oscar Jaitt-Pahoa (cited at Paakikii or Coconut Grove)
  • Douglas Amaya-California (cited at Lava Tree State Park)
  • Reina Villatoro de Garcia-California (cited at Lava Tree State Park)

June 11

  • Andrew Denton-Kea‘au (cited at Paakikii or Coconut Grove)
  • Daniel DeLong-California (cited at MacKenzie State Recreation Area)
  • Edric Money-California (cited at MacKenzie State Recreation Area)

June 14

  • Ravi Purpuri-California (cited at Lava Tree State Park)
  • Christina Sharpe-Kamuela (cited at Lava Tree State Park)
  • Zoe Zivalic-Kamuela (cited at Lava Tree State Park)

State officials note that during patrols, DOCARE officers often have to put on gas masks to protect themselves from the noxious volcanic gasses being created by lava. They also say that fast flowing lava can cut off escape routes putting both rescuers and loiterers at great risk.

*Below: Video and Photos from MacKenzie State Recreation Area courtesy Hawaiʻi DLNR

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