Is it safe to travel to Hawaii? Everything you need to know

We found out if it’s safe for tourists to travel to the US state.

Idyllic Hawaii has been a favourite spot amongst tourists for many years.

The US state is made up of an archipelago of islands including six main permanently inhabited islands: Hawai’i, Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, and Lana’i.

It’s the only state located outside of North America, and its tropical climate is one major draw for tourists as the islands enjoy warm weather all year round.

Hawaii's natural beauty combines beautiful beaches, dramatic landscapes, dormant volcanoes, colourful coral reefs and bright blue seas. It’s no wonder the state has become synonymous with paradise.

 

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We found out everything tourists need to know about visiting the island state.

Is it safe?

The Foreign Office has issued an update to its travel advice for those planning on visiting Hawaii, following a volcanic eruption of Mount Kilauea on Big Island on May 4.

Since the eruption there has been two weeks of volcanic activity that has sent lava flows into neighbourhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes.

The volcano also triggered a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, Hawaii’s largest in 40 years.

British nationals in the area are advised to keep an eye on local media reports and to follow the advice of local authorities. This includes any instruction to evacuate.

Further updates are regularly made by the State of Hawaii while wider advice on how to respond in the aftermath of a volcano can be found on the Federal Emergency Management website.

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and has been erupting continuously since 1983. It is among the five volcanoes that form the Big Island, and is the only one actively erupting.

What about other threats?

Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency previously insisted that a nuclear attack was very unlikely, and prepared a public education campaign. 

From November 2017, the first working day of the month included a test “attack warning” siren with TV and radio announcements providing more information.

On Saturday January 13 2018, an employee mistakenly sent out a text alert warning of a ballistic missile and urging residents to take shelter.

The instructions are to get inside and pay attention to news outlets.

The agency’s administrator Vern Miyagi, however, wants to clearly reassure tourists: “Hawaii is still safe”.

 

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Other safety concerns

The island of Oahu has seen a spate of handbag-snatching incidents. These often involve passengers of slow-moving cars taking bags off pedestrians.

The Honolulu police advise carrying bags on the shoulder furthest from the road.

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