Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

New fissures open at Hawaii volcano, forcing more evacuations

New fissures open at Hawaii volcano, forcing more evacuations

As volcanic fissures keep opening up on Hawaii's Big Island and spewing out lava, homeowners are desperately trying to find out if their insurance covers possible losses. Eruptions have opened 20 vents in the ground.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said Monday the gas may cause choking. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure.

Seek medical attention if severely affected.

More residents near the site have been ordered to evacuate.

The Hawaii Department of Health also warned people against buying cheap masks. The health department has been saying: "Only specialized masks available for purchase will protect from the risky gases and particulate matter that are being released in the current volcanic activity".

Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station shared photos of their view of the massive smoke plume on Hawaii's big island.

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The Big Island has succumbed to 19 fissures which have torn through the Leilani Estate, which sits in the shadow of the Kilauea volcano.

More lava-belching cracks are expected to open among homes and countryside about 40km east of Kilauea's smoking summit, possibly blocking another remaining exit route, Highway 132.

Lava from a huge new fissure is tearing through farmland towards a coastal dirt road that is one of the last exit routes for about 2000 residents in the southeast area of Hawaii's Big Island.

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.

"Reopening Highway 130 is now a top priority for the department", said Ed Sniffen, deputy director of the state Department of Transportation, reported the Star Advertiser. The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater has raised the potential for explosive eruptions at the volcano.

"This could generate risky debris very near the crater and ash falls up to tens of miles downwind". It was fountaining lava and "sending spatter more than 100 feet into the air", according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's Monday update.

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