Hawaii: Carry on regardless

PUNA, Hawaii, 10 May 2018: If you are planning a trip to Hawaii ‘carry on regardless’ says the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.

Obviously, the visitor bureau pumps out an upbeat message that volcanic activity is limited to a remote area on the Hawaii island’s east side.

But the eruptions continue to make headlines around the world and it would be wise to check out if your travel insurance covers is still valid for travel to Hawaii island.

“There is absolutely no reason at this time to change or alter leisure or business plans,” says Hawai’i Visitors Bureau executive director Ross Birch.

We understand where Birch is coming from and recognise he is unlikely to spot a reason for not visiting Hawaii if it hit him in the face.

However, If you are planning to travel to Hawaii double-check with your insurance provider as visiting an area where an a volcano is in the process if a major eruption could impact on your cover.

Birch correctly points out that the Hawaiian islands are unaffected by Kīlalea volcano except for an area on the island of Hawaii’s east side covering around 10-square-miles of the island’s 4,028 square miles territory.

The facts are that all airports are open and flights into Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole – KOA (west) and Hilo International Airport – ITO (east) are operating normally.

All hotels are open, tour activities and attractions are also operating normally, with the exception of those in the actual area subjected to lava activity.

Air quality on the island of Hawaii remains largely unchanged. However, air quality near where the lava is flowing can be hazardous (SO2-sulfur dioxide), and officials are continuing to monitor air quality.

Visitors who have already booked a trip to the island of Hawaii with accommodation, or activities in or near the Puna district, should call their travel provider with any questions or concerns.

The volcanic activity and where lava has flowed is limited to an area in lower Puna on the island’s east side.

It is more than 100 miles away from the western Kohala and Kona coasts, where the island’s major visitor resorts are located. This is the area furthest from the current activity.

In addition, Hilo town is approximately 20 miles away and unaffected by Kīlauea volcano.

Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been erupting for the past 35 years.