Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Hawaii volcano eruption: Incredible pictures show Kilauea lava fissures UP CLOSE

Hawaii volcano eruption: Incredible pictures show Kilauea lava fissures UP CLOSE

Since eruptions began 10 days ago, dozens of homes have been destroyed and officials have ordered the evacuations of almost 2,000 people in the lower Puna district of the Big Island, home to around 187,000 residents.

Cancellations from May through July have hit at least $5 million, said Ross Birch, executive director of the island's tourism board.

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.

Hawaii's Volcanic National Park is visited by more than 2 million visitors every year and pumps over NZ $3 billion into the local economy.

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A massive fissure cracked open on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, threatening surrounding residents with new waves of toxic gas and bursts of lava.

Volcanic gases and ash rise from recent lava fissures near Pahoa, Hawaii on Monday, May 14, 2018.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a fissure opened Saturday 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.

The view over Lanipuna Gardens early Monday morning.

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Fountains of magma spouted "lava bombs" over 30m into the air as the molten rock traveled east-southeast towards the coastal road, Highway 137, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. Since then, fissures have been generated mostly in Leilani Estates subdivision, where almost 2,000 residents were ordered to evacuate.

Almost 20 volcanic fissures have opened and are spewing lava and poisonous gas across the big island Tuesday morning. That prompted officials to issue calls for more evacuations as residents awaited a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano's summit.

The agency says one "unidentified structure" was destroyed by the new vent, bringing the total number of homes and other buildings lost to lava to almost 40.

The eruption, which has already destroyed dozens of homes, has caused 19 new fissures so far, all spewing noxious gases and lava.

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