Is it safe to travel to Hawaii or other countries with active volcanoes?

Even though volcanic tourism has been around for a while, it has only become widespread recently.

Thank you Iceland! As many of you have heard of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull or let’s just say yes, that one volcano in Iceland that incapacitated much of Europe’s air traffic in 2010 while virtually leaving Iceland’s air traffic unscathed (due to the very particular direction of the wind blowing). So this volcano, not only spared Iceland’s air traffic (the rest of Europe was huffing and puffing from jealousy) it also provided Iceland’s economy a much needed boost at the time. While watching Icelandic volcano eruption on the news, people were also catching the glimpse of the unbelievable natural beauty of this country. Iceland could not wish for a better natural promotion of tourism, without spending a cent on ads. Since then, tourists in Iceland outnumber local population at the rate of 3 to 1. So the volcanic tourism and tourism to countries with active and extinct volcanoes has skyrocketed.

But what if you are not interested in volcanoes and only planning to visit a country that also happens to have the pleasure of an active volcano that decided to erupt? Is it safe? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, but…with caution. Let’s take the most recent and in fact, ongoing, volcano erupting in Hawaii as an example.

The 2018 lower Puna eruption on Kilauea volcano in Hawaii started on 3 May this year and is yet to show any signs of ending. The sea of lava has completely engulfed two seaside neighborhoods at the eastern tip of Hawaii’s Big Island destroying 400 homes and forcing evacuation of thousands of around 2000 people. Although this sounds terrible (and it is, especially for those who were affected) the fact is that the affected nisland has a population of 200,000 people. Technically the eruption directly affected and forced the evacuation of 1% of the island’s population. Tell this to affected people huh..

Any what would you as a tourist have to worry about? Most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (in fact two-thirds of it) remains closed. And for a good reason: damaging earthquakes, corrosive volcanic ash, and continuing explosions from Halema‘uma‘u, the summit crater of Kīlauea Volcano do not look very hospitable to tourists. So if your main goal of visiting Hawaii’s was Volcano's National Park, you are in for a disappointment. If not then, you are in luck – there are many other places in Hawaii that are absolutely worth visiting, For example, check out our Honolulu, Hawaii or Maui, Hawaii travel guides

So is it safe? Yes, it is, provided your listen to authorities, adhere to their instructions and do not specifically looking to get into trouble by specifically traveling to the affected areas to try and get caught in the eruption.
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