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Man cited for operating drone near eruption area

A 38-year-old California man was cited for using a drone near the eruption in lower Puna.

A state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officer spotted Huawen Wu of San Jose flying the drone from Nanawale Estates on Tuesday, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Wu was cited for loitering and the case is being referred to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA placed a temporary flight restriction over a 5-mile radius of Leilani Estates in response to the eruption to prevent drones and aircraft from interfering with emergency operations.

Hawaii County is seeking to expand the restricted area, according to DLNR.

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