Noisy Hawaiian volcano lava fissure prompts more evacuations
A new fissure in Hawaii's Puna District 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 County Civil Defense issued an emergency cellphone alert after the fissure 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 buildings lost to the lava to nearly 40.
Residents in the immediate area were told to evacuate, and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.
Lava spread across hundreds of yards of private land and loud explosions rocked the neighborhood not far from Leilani Estates subdivision, where more than a dozen other active vents have opened in the past week.
Nearby resident Richard Schott, 34, sat near a police checkpoint and watched as the eruption churned just over a ridgeline and behind some trees.
"I've actually seen rocks fly over the tree line and I can feel it in my body," Schott said. "It's like a nuclear reaction or something." The new opening was still showing signs of activity Sunday afternoon. The fissure measures about 1,000 feet (300 meters) long, officials said.
The US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said new fissures, ground deformation and abundant volcanic gases indicate eruptions on the eastern flank of Kilauea are likely to continue.
"The appearance of the fissures in the past couple of days does not change the overall picture or concern," USGS scientist Steve Brantley said.
Christian and Maritza Ricks, who moved to the area from California in April, stopped on the side of the road to watch and listen to the latest eruption.
"I guess it's just part of living on the island," Ricks said.
He said he wasn't really afraid of the destruction happening around him. "In a way it's kind of exciting to see what's going on and be this close to it." Most of the lava outbreaks have occurred in and around the Leilani Estates neighborhood, where molten rock has burst through the ground, destroying more than two dozen homes and resulting in evacuation orders for nearly 2,000 people.
The US Geological Survey has reported nearly 20 active fissures. One that opened Saturday night was spattering, but no flow had formed.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported the fissures opened just east of the Puna Geothermal Venture energy conversion plant, where steam and hot liquid are brought up through underground wells and the steam feeds a turbine generator to produce electricity.
- Japanese director Kore-eda wins Palme d'Or for 'Shoplifters' at Cannes Film Festival 20 May 2018 | PTI
- Ronaldo and Bale score in Real draw as Zinedine son makes debut 20 May 2018 | AFP
- Cuba plane crash: Black box recovered in 'good condition' 20 May 2018 | IANS
- 1.9 bn people watched royal wedding: report 20 May 2018 | PTI
- IMD warns of thunderstorm tonight 19 May 2018 | PTI
- Wife of Malaysia's ex-leader slams 'public trial' of family 19 May 2018 | AP
- Trump nominates Pacific commander as America's new envoy to S Korea 19 May 2018 | PTI
- Priyanka Chopra sports chic dress suit at royal wedding 19 May 2018 | IANS
- China lands strategic bombers in SCS for 1st time; US sees red 19 May 2018 | PTI
- Teen laid out Texas attack plans in journals, officials say 19 May 2018 | AP
Sunday EditionView All
20 May 2018 | PNS
New Delhi: “Now, let us enjoy our holidays,” this is how the Supreme Court concluded the hearing on the Karnataka power row on Saturday. The courtroom burst into a bout of laughter as Justice AK Sikri, who headed the three-judge Bench, made the jovial remark ...
STATE EDITIONSView All
20 May 2018 | Ashis Sinha | Bokaro
More than dozens of the trains were affected after a traffic block conducted by railway on Bokaro-Kotshila rail block on Saturday. The traffic block was conducted to eliminate two unmanned railway crossing between Bokaro and Kotshila and to construct limited height subway there, informed S K Srivastava DRM Adra Division...