World

Giant new fissures open up on Kilauea prompting more evacuations

Giant new fissures open up on Kilauea prompting more evacuations

Demian Barrios was on scene Sunday morning for about 15 minutes at the harrowing site of a newly opened fissure.

If the highway is cut off, officials will start to plan for a mass evacuation, Hawaii National Guard spokesman Maj.

"Hawaii County Civil Defense officials urged residents of Halekamahina Loop Road to evacuate as well as two nearby community centers that were serving as shelters for people and pets".

A new volcanic fissure opened up Monday on Hawaii's Big Island - bringing the total up to 19 - as fears continue to grow that one of the world's most active volcanos is headed toward a major eruption.

More than 12 lava fissures have been recorded in the Leilani Estates subdivision of Puna, Hawaii, as of May 9.

Observatory scientist Steve Brantley says this most recent fissure measures 1,000 feet (300 meters) but is not acting vigorously. "There is some intermittent spatter but no substantial lava flow". Residents in both neighborhoods were ordered to evacuate in early May when fissures first began to appear, emitting lava and toxic gases.

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"Activity was dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast from fissure 17", the USGS said in their latest report.

Since the eruptions began, 37 structures have been destroyed and officials have ordered the evacuations of almost 2,000 people, mostly in the hard-hit Leilani Estates area. "There are no homes or roads threatened at this time". Exploding and sloshing sounds from the fissure, however, could be heard from as far as 1,400 meters away.

US Geological Survey (USGS) volcanologists believe a full-fledged volcanic eruption is likely to occur soon.

Geologists warned last week that at some point in the days and...

Magma is draining out of the volcano's sinking lava pool and flowing underground tens of miles eastward before bursting to the surface on Kilauea's eastern flank in the lower Puna area. Molten rocks were reportedly bursting through the ground, destroying over two dozen homes and structures.


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