USGS HVO Press Release — Jaggar Event Kicks Off Volcano Awareness Month

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On Saturday, January 2, 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory kicks off Volcano Awareness Month in a public event at the Jaggar Museum overlook in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

With Kīlauea's dramatic summit plume in the background, the event begins at 10:00 a.m. with welcoming remarks by Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. Keola Awong, Park Cultural Anthropologist, will talk about the cultural significance of Hawaiian volcanoes.

Representing Mayor Billy Kenoi, Desiree Moanacruz will read the County of Hawai‘i proclamation declaring January 2010 as Volcano Awareness Month on the Island of Hawai‘i. Quince Mento, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator, will address the importance of understanding and being prepared for volcanic activity on the island.

In a special guest appearance, HVO founder Thomas A. Jaggar (portrayed by living history actor Peter Charlot) will reminisce about establishing a volcano observatory at the summit of Kīlauea in 1912 and why he did so.

Jim Kauahikaua, HVO's present Scientist-in-Charge, will conclude the program with messages about volcano awareness, the current status of volcano monitoring, and the future of HVO as it approaches its centennial in 2012.

Island residents and visitors are invited to attend the kickoff to Volcano Awareness Month. Park entrance fees will be waived until 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 2, so it is a free event.

Throughout Volcano Awareness Month, HVO, in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, will sponsor various programs and activities to promote increased awareness of and respect for the volcanoes on which we live.

Two of these programs will be conducted on Saturday, January 2, after the kickoff event. At 11:00 a.m., learn about Kīlauea's dramatic history and its newest eruption in "Life on the Edge," a ranger program held at Jaggar Museum. That afternoon, explore a unique volcanic landscape in a 2.7-mile ranger-guided hike to the floor of Kīlauea caldera and back. This hike begins at the Kīlauea Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m.

On Sunday, January 3, discover how the volcano grows and breathes in "Life and Breath of Kīlauea," a park ranger demonstration at Jaggar Museum at 11:00 a.m. Then, at 1:00 p.m., you can hear about the spectacular 1959 eruption in a 4-mile guided hike across the still-steaming Kīlauea Iki Crater. The hike begins at the Kīlauea Iki Overlook on the Chain of Craters Road in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at

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