2 more fissures open around Hawaii volcano

EPA USA HAWAII VOLCANO DIS VOLCANIC ERUPTION USA HI

A Hawaii County Fire Department photo captures fissure 16, bottom, northeast of fissure 15, top, near Leilani Estates. (Photo: HAWAII COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT / HANDOUT, EPA-EFE)

Two more fissures opened Sunday around Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, bringing the total to 18 as the state braces for what could be a violent eruption. State and federal authorities warned residents in the southeast corner of the island of Hawaii that they should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. The newest fissure spouted lava “many tens of feet into the air,” the U.S. Geological Survey said. It prompted state officials to tell some area residents to leave their homes, the latest expansion of evacuations around the volcano. Authorities have warned that if the dropping lava level inside the volcano falls below the water table, it will generate enough steam to blast a shower of rocks, ash, and sulfur dioxide gases up to 10 miles downwind.

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