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Hawaii tourists face fines up to $5k for volcano photos

Tourists after a close-up peek at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano are ignoring warnings in an attempt to take photos of its dangerous, albeit fascinating lava zones.


The Hawaii Island volcano has been erupting for over six weeks, and despite warnings of gas emissions, people are still keen to photograph the lava flow, Fortune reported.


Image U.S. Geological Survey/Getty


But nosy visitors to Hawaii’s Big Island face jail time of up to one year and fines of a maximum US$5,000 for entering areas closed off to the public.


According to Forbes, state officials said so far around 40 people have been detained for loitering in lava zones, with a dozen of those arrests occurring in the last ten or so days. 


“I find there is a need to strengthen the enforcement tools available to county and state emergency management officials in controlling public access to dangerous areas and associated evacuation efforts as a result of the failure of the public to comply with instructions and orders issued by officials,” Hawaii Governor David Ige said in a statement.


Meanwhile, Ige has moved to reassure potential visitors to Hawaii of its safety, saying “the volcanic activity is having no effect whatsoever on the other islands”.


“Visitors can book their trips comfortable in the knowledge that their vacation experience will provide all the enjoyment they expect when coming to our beautiful islands,” he remarked.


“All of Hawai'i is open for business and welcoming visitors with the hospitality, aloha, warmth and picturesque settings visitors seek in our islands.”


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 19 June 2018

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