The Latest: Hawaii national parks reopens after lava shut it

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FILE - In this May, 9, 2018, file photo, visitors take pictures as Kilauea's summit crater glows red in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will reopen its main gates Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, welcoming carloads of visitors eager to see Kilauea's new summit crater and the area where a longstanding lava lake once bubbled near the surface. The park has been closed for 135 days as volcanic activity caused explosive eruptions, earthquakes and the collapse of the famed Halemaumau crater. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The Latest on the reopening of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park after an eruption that caused widespread damage to infrastructure (all times local):

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9 a.m.

A national park in Hawaii has reopened after being closed for more than four months because of Kilauea volcano's latest eruption, which caused widespread damage to park infrastructure and dramatically changed its landscape.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials said there were no lines or waiting for visitors to catch a glimpse of the volcano that made headlines across the world when it began erupting in May. Admission is free Saturday.

The eruption destroyed hundreds of homes outside the park while changing the popular summit crater inside the park.

The caldera quadrupled in size, collapsed about 1,500 feet as lava drained out of the active vent.


12:05 a.m.

A national park in Hawaii is reopening after being closed for more than four months because of Kilauea volcano's latest eruption.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials are bracing for long lines and crammed roads as visitors flock to the park Saturday. The reopening coincides with National Public Lands Day, so admission will be free.

The park's acting spokeswoman Shanelle Saunders says well over 5,000 people are expected to visit the volcano on Saturday.

While interest is high, accommodations will be somewhat limited. Damage to the park closed about 30 percent of its former parking capacity.

Kilauea has been active for decades. But the eruption that began in May has transformed both the park and the rural Big Island coastline that surrounds it.