Disaster Recovery from Eruption and Summit Collapse in 2018
Beginning in May 2018, the park and Kīlauea summit underwent a major change as magma drained from the chamber beneath Halema'uma'u Crater, and the caldera began to collapse, triggering thousands of felt earthquakes and clouds of rock and ash that continued until early August. The seismic activity was primarily centered near the crater, and significantly impacted buildings in the immediate vicinity on Uēkahuna Bluff, including Jaggar Museum (a visitor center) and Reginald T. Okamura (Okamura) building of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) facility, resulting in the current closure of the area. The 2018 eruption and caldera collapse were the most destructive eruptive events in Hawai'i in the last two centuries, and the park closed to the public for 134 days.
The results of post-disaster assessments found that significant investment would be necessary to make Jaggar Museum and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory-operated Okamura building and Geochemistry Annex safe to occupy and operational. The buildings are surrounded by fault lines and the area continues to subside on the crater side, undermining slope stability at the existing terraces and building foundations.
We look forward to your input as we move through this project planning.
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The intent of this project is to repair and/or replace critical park infrastructure and U.S. Geological Survey-operated facilities damaged during the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea volcano. The project will include plans for visitor service and administrative sites and addresses potential future use of the Uēkahuna Bluff area.