A 75-year-old man fell 100 to his death in a closed area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where he landed below the crater rim of a viewing area of Kilauea volcano, officials said.
The man, a resident of Hilo who has not been named, apparently fell Sunday night west of the Uekahuna viewing area at the volcano’s summit, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
National Park Service rangers and Hawaii County firefighters searched for the man after his family reported him missing early Monday. A helicopter was flown in to recover his body.
Visitors have been going to the park at night to get a glimpse of a glowing lava lake from the volcano, which began to erupt in September, according to CBS News.
Footage of the volcano’s Halemaumau Crater posted on the US Geological Survey website shows lava streams on the crater floor and clouds of volcanic gas billowing skyward.
When the volcano erupted a few weeks ago, it spewed about 26,000 gallons of lava a second, KGMB-TV reported at the time.
“We have fountaining. We have fissures. And we have lava lake activity,” Natalia Deligne of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory told the news outlet. “All of that is confined to the crater.”
Jessica Ferracane, a spokeswoman for Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, urged visitors to “recreate responsibly.”
“We still urge people who are planning to come, there could be long lines to get into the park and we’re expecting upwards of thousands of people a day to see the new eruption,” Ferracane told KGMB.
Kilauea’s eruption in 2018 was by far the most destructive in modern history, reported the station, which said it spewed lava into the lower Puna district and destroyed several communities.
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