Woman Found Dead in Volcano Caldera

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Parks reports that a woman was found dead in the Kīlauea caldera on Sunday, Oct. 29.

A USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam captured this image of spattering on Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake on Sept. 6, 2017. In concert with summit inflation, the lake level had risen to 54 ft below the vent rim, bringing it into view from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. When inflation switched to deflation the next day, the lava lake level dropped about 49 ft. PC: USGS

Park rangers recovered the body of a 63-year-old Kea‘au woman Sunday morning from Kīlauea caldera below Steaming Bluff.

At approximately 10 a.m., the park received a report about a female resident missing since Friday. Family traced her phone to the park, and park rangers located her vehicle at the Steam Vents parking area. Rangers began to search for her by ground and air. At around 11:30 a.m., the woman’s body was located by personnel aboard a County of Hawai‘i helicopter about 250 feet below the caldera rim, and removed.

According to Chief Ranger John Broward, the woman appears to have died after falling from the edge beyond Crater Rim Trail. The area where she fell is not currently erupting. Rangers stated it appeared that she left the trail and went around several barriers to access the edge.

Her name is being withheld pending notification of family. An investigation is underway.

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