New volcanic lava fissure in Hawaii prompts more evacuations

Hawaii County map shows the proximity of the new breakout to Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaii County map shows the proximity of the new breakout to Puna Geothermal Venture

Officials have ordered evacuations for about 2,000 people since Kilauea volcano began shooting lava into a residential neighborhood on May 3.

"So far those explosions have not occurred, and I think the key here is that the vent system is an open one, therefore pressure is not being built or developed down at the top of the lava column", Mr Brantley said.

Many people have been evacuated from their homes.

The Big Island tourism board estimates $5 million worth of cancellations from May through July.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea is located, said yesterday it would close most of the park on Friday due to the threat of a possible explosive eruption.

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The National Weather Service has warned residents of "light ashfall" throughout the day in the island's southernmost district after a burst of volcanic emissions.

The new eruption was reported Monday in the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision, an area that has already been evacuated.

A separate fissure is still active after it formed on Sunday.

Fountains of magma spouted "lava bombs" over 100 feet (30 meters) into the air and a narrow flow had traveled just under a mile (1.6 km) east-southeast by 6.30 a.m. (12.30 p.m. EDT), moving slowly towards the coast some two miles (3.2 km) away, the Observatory said. No homes or roads were threatened by the flow.

Kilauea began erupting on May 3.

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Almost 20 of the fissures have opened since the Kilauea volcano started erupting 12 days ago, and officials warn it may soon blow its top with a steam eruption that would shoot boulders and ash miles into the sky.

For those who want to see a volcano in action, the lure of Hawaii's Big Island may be getting too much to resist. Officials fear the unpredictability of the volcano, and how long the eruption will last is unclear.

A fissure that opened Sunday led authorities to order 10 people to flee their homes, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said.

The Puna Geothermal Venture plant sits at the edge of the Leilani Estates residential area on Hawaii's Big Island where lava from 15 volcanic fissures has so far destroyed 36 structures, majority homes, and forced the evacuation of around 2,000 residents.

Overall, almost 2,000 people have been told to evacuate since May 3, and lava has destroyed more than two dozen homes.

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