Volcano's fissures downgraded to 17, not 18

Hawaii volcano warning as poisonous gas spews from lava

Hawaii volcano warning as poisonous gas spews from lava

Residents in both neighborhoods were ordered to evacuate in early May when fissures first began to appear, emitting lava and toxic gases. The fissure was also close to the Puna Geothermal Venture plant where last week, plant workers removed gallons of flammable liquid after the plant was shut down.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow from the crack that emerged Sunday was heading on a path that would take it to the ocean, about 2 miles (3 kilometres) away.

Kilauea, a 4,000-foot-high (1,200-meters) volcano with a lake of lava at its summit is located in the far east of Hawaii's 4,028-square-mile (10,430-square-km) Big Island, which is home to about 200,000 people.

More than a dozen fissures have opened in and around Leilani Estates in Hawaii, prompting officials to issue a warning about the potential eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

Fountains of magma spouted "lava bombs" more than 100 feet (30 meters) into the air as the molten rock traveled east-southeast towards the coastal road - Highway 137 - the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. Since there was no lava, it's not considered an active fissure.

Officials say the pace of bookings for hotels and tour activities on the Big Island of Hawaii are down about 50 percent compared with previous years as an erupting volcano spews lava for a second week.


"It's down to one gravel road, that's what also pushed us over the edge", said Rob Guzman, who with his husband Bob Kirk chose to leave their home in the Kalapana Seaview Estates subdivision around 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Leilani Estates.

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

An active fissure that was reported Sunday morning initially was called No. 18 but will be labeled No. 17. Since then, 36 structures have been destroyed including 26 homes, as lava snaked through the area following the exploding fissures.

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

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the latest fissure, which opened Saturday night, was spattering but no flow had yet formed.

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