The latest fissure in the earth opened on Tuesday, spewing lava and toxic gases that pushed air quality into "condition red" around Lanipuna Gardens and nearby farms, causing "choking and inability to breathe", the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
The USGS says ash eruptions at the volcano's summit have intensified, and as of Tuesday evening the ground and aviation alerts were at the highest levels. Scientists say the volcano might soon shoot out boulders and ash from its summit crater.
The U.S. Geological Survery upgraded its previous volcano warning from "orange" to "red", signifying that an "eruption is forecasted to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely", or that an eruption is already underway. Lava from that fissure is "racing" toward the ocean at 20 yards per hour.
Most of the activity remains concentrated at fissure 17, although lava flows have advanced little over the past day.
A new fissure opened up today, fissure 19.
Volcanic air pollution and ashfall have been reported in Pahala, and National Weather Service radar and pilots have reported the top of the volcano's ash cloud is 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level.
"It's optimistic to think that this is the last fissure we're going to see", said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Deputy Scientist-In-Charge Steve Brantley.
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College exchange student Constantin Plinke, 24, was planning to go to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park before it was shut.
Officers have ordered round 2,000 residents to evacuate the Leilani Estates space within the japanese Puna district the place fissures first appeared, however to this point nobody has been ordered to depart the Ka'u district.
Dozens of homes have been destroyed since eruptions began 10 days ago and officials have ordered the evacuations of almost 2,000 residents in the region.
Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has been spouting lava "bombs" and threatening escape routes for the people living on Big Island.
Kilauea, lava flows, fissures, and science with Larry Beil A new fissure emitting steam and lava spatter spurred Hawaii officials to call for more evacuations this past Sunday as residents braced for an expected eruption from the Kilauea volcano.
Lava has surged into residential areas, decimating dozens of structures.