HILO, Hawaii – Elevated sulfur dioxide levels from Kilauea volcano have forced the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno says 2,000 people were evacuated from the park, including guests and staff of the Volcano House hotel.
Outside the park, Hawaii County Civil Defense recommended residents of five communities to evacuate. One school, Volcano Charter, was closed.
Elevated levels of sulfur dioxide have been pouring from the volcano's Halemaumau Crater and Puu Oo vent. Officials say the evacuations were ordered with forecasts that the wind direction would shift to the southeast.