Lava tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park may soon reopen
HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park could reopen within a month if a final repair project is successful, an official said.
A park spokeswoman said the tube will be reopened to the public after a nearby restroom facility is restored to working order, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday.
Thurston Lava Tube was one of several attractions at the park that were closed indefinitely after the Kilauea volcanic eruption, which began in May 2018 and destroyed more than 700 homes on the Big Island.
Also called Nahuku, the lava tube remained closed after Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopened in September 2018.
Scientists and engineers wanted to confirm the tube was structurally sound after thousands of earthquakes rattled the park during the eruption.
The park must repair and bury an electrical line, which could take two to four weeks, spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said.
When the tube reopens, there will be updates such as monitoring equipment to detect possible changes in cracks that opened in the tube, Ferracane said.
Other updates will include pylons warning visitors of a low ceiling and an improved water-drainage system to prevent water from pooling, she said.
There will also be a new parking configuration at the lot servicing the tube, Ferracane said.
“We’re really looking forward to getting people back to the lava tube,” Ferracane said. “It’s been a lot of work.”