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Thursday, December 28, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 28, 2023

A hiker on Maunaiki Trail, has reopened in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. See more below. NPS Photo by Janice Wei
A MAGNITUDE 4.4 EARTHQUAKE OCCURRED 4 MILES SOUTHEAST OF PĀHALA in the ocean on Thursday, Dec. 28, at 3:16 p.m. with reports of moderate shaking, no damage and no tsunami. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a depth of 8 mi below sea level. The earthquake had no apparent impact on either Mauna Loa or Kīlauea volcanoes.
    The HVO statement says, "This earthquake appears to be the result of faulting on the offshore section of Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Zone. While the earthquake was felt at Kīlauea’s summit, it did not cause any changes in seismicity or deformation.
    The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's statement says it continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. Aftershocks are possible in the coming days to weeks 

    More than 90 felt reports were given to USGS  within the first hour. See http://earthquake.usgs.gov/dyfi/. Ot was widely felt on the southern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. USGS National Earthquake Information Center Maps and Reports for this Event are at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv73699997 

Twin Pit Craters in the Kaʻū Desert on Maunaiki Trail. Photo b Janice Wei/NPS

MAUNAIKI TRAIL HAS REOPENED FROM the trailhead near Kulanaokuaiki Campground to the Kaʻū Desert Trail intersection in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The park temporarily closed Maunaiki Trail in October because of increased seismicity in the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. Kīlauea is not erupting, and other than Thursday's quake, seismicity has been low in the Southwest Rift Zone, the summit region and the upper East Rift Zone according to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists.
    This remote and uncrowded seven-mile trail traverses the spectacular geological, natural and cultural features of the Kaʻū Desert, including the Twin Pit Craters where koaʻe kea (white-tailed tropicbirds) soar above their nesting sites.
    Although the recent volcanic unrest is quiet, eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning. Park visitors are urged to plan ahead and check the park website for any closure or hazard alerts at www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.

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CHANGES IN FIREARMS PERMITTING BEGIN JAN. 1. Established by the Hawai'i Legislature, they include the following: Applicants for a long gun permit will be required to have completed a hunter’s education course within the past four years.

   Permits for long guns are good for one year.
   Regarding handgun permits, applicants wishing to apply for a handgun will be required to complete a firearms training or safety course within the past four years by a certified instructor.
Permits for handguns are good for 30 days.
   The Hawai‘i Police Department statement said it is "committed to ensuring efficiency and a seamless experience for our community members."
    Residents interested in more info or in applying for a firearm permit are encouraged to visit hawaiipolice.com or contact Hawai‘i Police Department Firearms Section at (808) 961-2233.

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HPD ARRESTED 18 FOR DUI from Dec. 18 through Dec. 24. Hawai‘i Island police arrested them for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Nine of the drivers were involved in a traffic collision. Two were under the age of 21. So far this year, there have been 935 DUI arrests compared with 962 during the same period last year, a decrease of 2.8 percent.
   HPD's Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 831 major collisions so far this year compared with 824 during the same period last year, an increase of 0.85 percent.
    To date, there have been 14 fatal crashes, resulting in 15 fatalities, (one of which had multiple deaths, and one was reclassified to a medical condition); compared with 30 fatal crashes, resulting in 33 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths, and one was reclassified to a medical condition) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 54.8 percent for fatal crashes and 54.5 percent for fatalities.
    The non-traffic fatality count (not on a public roadway), so far this year is one compared to zero non-traffic fatalities for the same time last year.
    HPD promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY FOR EAST FACING SHORES and North Shores has been issued by National Weather Service through 6 p.m. on Friday.
    The Civil Defense statement says, "A High Surf Advisory means surf will be higher than normal. Shore breaks and dangerous currents could cause injury or death. Beach-goers, swimmers, and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise caution when entering the water. You will be informed as conditions change. For more information, visit the County of Hawaii Hazard Impact Map

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