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On Friday evening, the Trump administration Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a “major disaster declaration for Hawaii” in the wake of the ongoing Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes. This declaration clears the way for federal resources to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

Approximately 2,000 evacuees have had to abandon their homes as the eruption continues. Of these, 300 evacuees are currently living in emergency shelters. Authorities say that it could be weeks or months before the evacuees are able to return to their homes — if their homes are spared by the eruption.

For travelers to the 50th state, the impact continues to be minor. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to the eruption. However, other tourist sites on the Big Island and all tourist sites on other Hawaiian islands remain unaffected. Flights are currently operating on schedule into and out of the two major Big Island airports: Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO).

Flights could be impacted if the volcano spews a new plume cloud. Image by Mario Tama via Getty Images.
Flights could be impacted if the volcano spews a new plume cloud. Image by Mario Tama via Getty Images.

However, that could change suddenly if the volcano begins a steam explosion. As the lava lake levels continue to drop inside the Halemaumau Crater, geologists are wary of a “once-in-a-century” steam explosion. In addition to launching boulders into the area surrounding the crater, this steam explosion could mix with unfavorable winds to affect Big Island flights.

Featured image by Mario Tama via Getty Images.

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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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