By now, you’ve probably heard or read some disturbing news reports on the Kilauea volcano, which is currently erupting on the Island of Hawaii.

Reports claim that it’s a “disaster zone” that “people are fleeing”, “fissures are opening” and there are “raising concerns for further eruption”, but according to the island’s Visitors Bureau Sales Manager, that’s not the case.

Speaking to KARRYON in Sydney last week, Teresa Cosgrove, said people were forgetting that the volcano had been active for some 35 years and that the only difference between now and then is that previously the lava flowed out to sea.

Image: Steve Halama/Unsplash

Image: Steve Halama/Unsplash

“It’s not unusual for it to stop going in one direction and go in another,” she explained.

“This situation is normal in that, you know the lava is going to flow somewhere, it’s not normal in that instead of flowing into the ocean it’s now flowing down roads, which have been closed off.”

Teresa Cosgrove, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau Sales Manager 

She continued, explaining that it’s important for tourists to remember that the Island of Hawaii is nicknamed ‘Big Island’ for a reason, and that’s because it’s so large that what’s happening in this one remote part of the island, isn’t affecting any other areas.

However, in saying that, precautions have been taken to ensure locals and visitors are safe, including road closures near fissures and the temporary closure of the National Park.

More recently, a directive was issued for vacation rental owners and operators to cease operations in Lower Puna so emergency operations could focus on residents in the area. The restricted area encompasses Highway 132 from Leilani Estates to Kapoho, Highway 137 from Kapoho to Kalapana, and Highway 130 from Pāhoa to Pohoiki.

Image: Wikimedia.org

Image: Wikimedia.org

Aside from that, Hawaii’s tourism leaders have reiterated that “there is absolutely no reason at this time for travellers to change or alter their leisure or business plans” as the disruption is isolated to a 10-square mile area out of the island’s 4,028 square miles.

Air access to the island’s two airports are operating normally, as are all accommodation, activities and attractions outside the Lower Puna area.

While air quality near the volcano may be harmful, visitors are being reassured that the air on the island remains breathable and unchanged by the situation.

Now that you know there’s no need to change plans, here are a few things you can still do on Big Island despite the active volcano:

Black Sand Beach on the Island of Hawaii

Check out the rainforests on the East Side of the island, visit one of the four national parks dedicated to the history of the island, do a coffee plantation tour (and try some of the best coffee in the world), visit white sand or black sand beaches, spend time at a 5-star resort, see Hawaiian cowboys, and the list goes on.

 

READ: Tourists are not affected by Kilauea volcano

READ: Hawaiian Airlines reveals plans for new Dreamliners

READ: Most Aussies still book Hawaii through their Travel Agent

Are you or someone you know travelling to the Big Island soon?