New Fissures Near Hawaii Volcano Spark Fears of Explosion

More than a week after Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano upended a residential community on the Big Island, two new fissures have opened up and intensified the destruction. The first fissure, the 16th so far, broke open on Saturday about a mile from the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, prompting officials to frantically remove 60,000 gallons of flammable chemicals. Another fissure burst open hours later and sent more lava and toxic gas into the area. “Lava from this latest outbreak is actively spattering,” the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said late Saturday. With about 2,000 people already evacuated from the area, authorities say an explosive eruption is expected that could spread ash plumes 12 miles out. The worsening situation comes after President Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii on Friday, promising federal assistance in the state’s recovery efforts.