New Count: 76 Citations for Loitering in Closed Volcano Eruption Zone
Two Hilo residents were cited by a state Division of Conservation and Resources officer for loitering in a closed volcano eruption zone over the weekend. The new violations bring the total count to 76 citations issued by state and county authorities since the recent eruption onset in May.
State officials say the citations come despite repeated warnings for the public to stay out.
Thirty-two-year old Alexander White and 41-year old Ruth Moss were cited after they were found at the bottom of Highway 137 near MacKenzie State Recreation Area. They were with two children and were observed walking along the shoreline at Coconut Grove on Saturday afternoon.
State officials say the four individuals did not have personal protection equipment and sulfur dioxide readings were higher than safe levels earlier in the day. All four people were escorted back to the road block where the adults were cited.
Fines for being in areas restricted or closed due to the continuing East Rift Zone volcanic eruption can reach as high as $5000, with up to one year in jail.