Two new volcanic fissures open, spew lava in Hawaii

May 13 (UPI) — Two new volcanic fissures have opened and begun spewing lava on Hawaii’s Big Island after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, authorities said.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that a 16th and 17th fissure opened on the island of Hawaii on Saturday about 100 feet apart from each other.

Fissure 16 opened at about 6:45 a.m. Saturday and produced a lava flow that traveled about 250 yards before coming to a halt at 2:30 p.m., while fissure 17 produced spattering and degassing with no consistent flow.

The HVO also said there is a possibility of an explosive eruption at Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u crater due to ongoing withdrawal of lava from Kilauea summit lake. The explosions could cause clouds of ash over an area up to 12 miles from the summit crater.

Due to the volcanic activity, residents of lower Puna between Kapoho and Kalapana were advised to be alert of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption and police suspended all helicopter or drone activity without approval in the lower Puna area.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported a magnitude 4.3 earthquake at 11:54 p.m. Saturday offshore from the Kalapana region of Kilauea Volcano.

No tsunami is expected, but some areas did experience shaking.

On Saturday President Donald Trump declared Hawaii a disaster zone, clearing the way for federal funding assistance.

After the Kilauea volcano erupted, the lava burned 37 structures including 27 homes, and forced 1,700 evacuations.

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