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New Fissure Opens Downrift Of Leilani Estates

New Fissure Opens Downrift Of Leilani Estates

The new fissure is the 16th that has emerged since the beginning of Kilauea's latest eruption on May 3.

Hawaii County authorities advised residents on the Big Island through a text message to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2, a toxic gas. The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater "has raised the potential for explosive eruptions" at the volcano.

Steaming ground cracks from volcanic activity, the first signs a fissure may open, closed roads in areas to the northeast and southwest of Leilani Estates, where scientists believe the next lava vents may appear.

"Because the lava intrusion is still active and earthquakes are still occurring, we still think there's a decent chance of new eruptive activity at the surface", Steven Brantley said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials urged residents in a community near Kilauea Volcano to be vigilant amid ongoing volcanic activity and hazardous emissions - and to be prepared to evacuate on short notice, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB reports.

Since the eruption started more than a week ago, 36 structures, including 27 homes, have been destroyed.

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Babb said the fissure is about eight-tenths of a mile east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

While locals contend with lava and gas on the ground, explosions at Kilauea's summit some 25 miles (40 km) to the west were dusting communities with ash that irritated eyes and breathing. But scientists concurred that Hawaii is safe for visitors.

She said the lava inside the volcano sank out of site, replaced with steam plumes rising into the sky.

Travel industry executives note most of the Big Island is free of eruption threats from Kilauea, which began spurting lava into a residential neighborhood last week.

More than a week after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii residents felt tremors and earthquakes on Friday as molten rock flowed underground towards a rural area where more lava was expected to burst to the surface and threaten homes.

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