Maui News

Volcano Observatory to Remain on Hawai‘i Island

May 30, 2019, 9:19 AM HST
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US Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced that USGS has committed to keeping the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Hawaiʻi Island.  The announcement comes following her meeting with Dr. Jim Reilly, Director of the US Geological Survey.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory or HVO, was damaged beyond repair during the recent Kīlauea eruption. 

“The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is an integral part of the Hawaiʻi Island community, as we saw when HVO scientists worked around the clock with first responders to provide critical information during last year’s volcanic activity,” Senator Hirono said. “It just makes sense that this critical agency remains anchored on Hawaiʻi Island, and I want to thank Dr. Reilly for being receptive to community concerns on this matter.”

During his confirmation hearing in March, Senator Hirono urged then-Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to incorporate feedback from Hawaiʻi Island residents and Hawaiʻi’s Congressional Delegation before deciding whether to move the Observatory to Oʻahu.

Earlier this month, Senator Hirono joined Hawaiʻi’s Congressional Delegation in writing to Director Reilly urging him to keep HVO on Hawaiʻi Island.

SO2 camera removed from HVO’s summit: For several years, a special ultraviolet camera has been located near Keanakākoʻi Crater at Kīlauea’s summit. The camera was capable of detecting SO2 gas coming from Halema‘uma‘u crater. This morning, the camera was removed because there is very little SO2 to measure these days at the summit. In addition, cracking near Keanakākoʻi Crater was making access difficult. File Photo Credit: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory USGS

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