Sixteenth, 17 th and 18 th fissures open with magma thrown 100 ft into air while geologists say steam eruption could make 20,000 ft plume
A new fissure in Hawaii’s Puna district has sent gases and lava exploding into the air, spurring officials to call for more evacuations as residents waited for a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano’s summit.
Hawaii district civil defense issued an emergency alert after the rift was discovered early Sunday morning. The agency said one” unidentified structure” was destroyed by the new vent, bringing the total number of homes and other houses lost to the lava to virtually 40.
Residents in the immediate region were told to evacuate, and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.
Geologists caution that Kilauea’s summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would lunge huge boulders and ash miles into the sky.
Thousands of people have fled their homes on Big Island and dozens of structures have been destroyed. Geologists have warned that Kilauea’s summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would spew ash 20,000 ft( 6,100 metres) high and spread debris up to 12 miles( 19 km ).
The new rift- the 18 th- was reported to the west of Highway 132, along Hale Kamahina Loop Road. Residents on that road were ordered to evacuate. Two community centers were open to shelter people and pets.
Two new fissures also opened on Saturday, around the Leilani Estates neighborhood. The US Geological Survey( USGS) reported that the 17 th rift, which opened around 6pm on Saturday, was spattering but no flow had formed. The 16 th rift spilled lava into a field earlier in the day, close to several homes.
” It’s right by my house, which is kind of scary ,” said Haley Clinton, 17, who walked to see the new fissure with her father, Darryl, and sister Jolon, 15. “It’s really cool.”
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