In the meantime, fewer workers are needed to staff a 24-hour operations center and officials are reducing checkpoints, Magno said. Half of the residents of a subdivision that had been ordered to evacuate after a fissure opened there on May 3 were being allowed to return starting last week. Only residents are allowed there.
The other half of the residents in a more vulnerable area are allowed back during the day if conditions are safe.
At Kilauea’s summit, there continue to be explosions that shoot plumes of ash into the sky. There were two small blasts Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 earthquake, scientists said.
A National Weather Service radar unit has been helping provide data about the heights of the ash plumes and the direction of ash fall. But the unit has been broken since Thursday. A part for repairs was expected soon, said Robert Ballard, science and operations officer for the weather service in Honolulu.
Ash expelled during explosions may cause poor visibility and slippery conditions for drivers.
Another ongoing hazard comes from lava meeting the ocean. Scientists warn against venturing too close to where the lava is entering the ocean, saying it could expose people to dangers from flying debris.