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New lava fissure opens as Hawaii awaits explosive eruption

New lava fissure opens as Hawaii awaits explosive eruption
Posted at 11:53 AM, May 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-13 08:45:47-04

By CALEB JONES

Associated Press

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - New lava fissures, ground deformation and abundant volcanic gases indicate eruptions on the eastern flank of Kilauea volcano are likely to continue.

Two new fissures opened on Saturday, bringing the total number of lava outbreaks in and around Leilani Estates to 17.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the latest fissure, which opened Saturday night, was spattering but no flow had yet formed. Fissure No. 16 opened and spilled lava into an open field earlier in the day.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the fissures opened just east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant. Plant workers last week removed 50,000 gallons of pentane stored at the site as a precaution.

Geologists warn that Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl rocks and ash miles into the sky.

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