Sulfur Dioxide levels in Hawaii remain high

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed today after high levels of sulfur dioxide vented from Kilauea. Continuing southeastern winds will exist through most of the day, causing much of the contamination to exist elsewhere on the Big Island.

In addition to the park, the Volcano House hotel and Kilauea Military Camp remain evacuated. Volcano Charter School remains closed for a second day.

Sulfur dioxide can cause irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, and respiratory tract. Residents in the area are recommended to avoid smoking, stay indoors, and drink plenty of fluids, among other suggestions. Residents living northeast of the volcano should be prepared to evacuate, mainly those living in Mauna Loa Estates, Ohia Estates, Volcano Village, the Keauhou Ranch area and the Volcano Golf Course region.

Trade winds on Thursday may return the conditions to normal. However, people in the region should remain prepared to evacuate if necessary.