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Six more people cited in closed lower east rift zone


(Hilo) – Officers from the Hawai‘i County Police Department and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) cited six people over the past 24 hours for loitering and refusing to evacuate in lower Puna. This brings the number of citations issued since the eruption began in early May to around 47.

Earlier this month Governor David Ige issued a supplemental proclamation which gives judges the option of imposing fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail for people convicted of being in a closed area. The Governor said there is a need to strengthen enforcement tools in controlling access to dangerous areas.

Last week three people cited at Lava Tree State Park pleaded no contest to their charges. Two of them were fined $500 each and the third person will serve 50 hours of community service in lieu of a fine. The people cited yesterday and today are:

By DOCARE: Monday (Lava Tree State Park)

  • 31-year old Kelly Adams of Pahoa

By HPD: Monday (Highway 132 & Lava Tree State Park)

  • 26-year old Nellie Stockwell
  • 31-year old Kevin Wuijckhuijse
  • 31-year old Andre Galic

By DOCARE: Tuesday (Highway 132 and Pohiki Road)

  • 26-year old Nicholas Sissini of Honolulu
  • 24-year old Stephany Sollera of Honolulu

The officer who cited the pair today said they were wearing respirators and said they were enticed by social media postings which continue to show others illegally entering the evacuation zone to photograph or tape active lava flows. DOCARE officers report many of the people cited claim they did not know they were in a closed area, even though in many cases they walked past barricades or used unmanned back roads to get around checkpoints.

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