Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Noisy volcano lava fissure prompts more evacuations

Noisy volcano lava fissure prompts more evacuations

Lava oozing from giant rips in the earth that have sprouted near Hawaii's Kilauea volcano threatened highways on Monday, raising the possibility that officials will order remaining residents to evacuate before access routes are cut off.

The incident drained the lava lake of the volcano into the surrounding parts of the island and, since then, has only gotten worse.

Fissure 17 has only just recently opened and is slowly moving towards the east coast of Hawaii.

The threat of explosive activity will rise as lava drains from the summit of Kilauea and explosions will be possible in the coming weeks if the lava dips below the groundwater table, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

There was "an immediate impact" after the Kilauea volcano first erupted on May 3.

Lava explosions, known as "spatter bombs", have launched hundreds of feet into the air over the past two days according to the U.S. Geological Survey, as observers documented the opening of the two newest fissures.

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

People close to the vents and lava flows are at high risk.

Geologists yesterday warned that Kilauea may be entering a more violent phase of explosive eruptions, the likes of which Hawaii has not seen in almost a century.

It is worth noting that this month started to smoke also and old cracks, for example, in Pahoa (West of the Big island of Hawaii).

Residents living near the fissure were told to evacuate and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.

A 19th fissure opened Monday in Lanipuna Gardens, the area neighboring Leilani Estates, which was hardest hit by quakes and lava flows, the largest in decades from the volcano.

Officials say a new lava fissure has been reported and are ordering more evacuations on Hawaii's Big Island.

The molten rock is called magma when it is underground; when it reaches the surface, it is called lava.

The Honolulu County Mayor's office, which oversees Puna, said on Sunday that lava eruptions had destroyed 37 structures.

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