Hawaii Kilauea Volcano Update: New Fissure, Lava Flows

It's been more than a week since the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted and there are still new fissures opening up nearly every day. On Tuesday morning a new fissure was discovered in the Lunipuna Gardens Subdivision, according to the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency.

The fissure was northeast of fissure 19 and was not threatening any homes or roads when it first opened, according to Civil Defense. Lava was erupting from several fissures near the northeast end of the fissure system, according to an update from the United States Geological Survey Tuesday. Both agencies warned that there was lava flowing from fissure 17.

The lava was moving at a rate of about 20 yards an hour, or .01 miles per hour, in the direction of the ocean, said the agency in a release. Although the lava was moving at an incredibly slow pace, it still poses a threat to anything in its way. A map of the areas where lava was flowing is available from the USGS.

The gas from the volcano is also a safety and health hazard for those in the area downwind of the erupting vents. The volcano is known for emitting high levels of sulfur dioxide (S02), which can cause vog in the area. Vog is a mix of water vapor, SO2 and carbon dioxide that can create a hazy look, while SO2 can cause irritation in the lungs and throat, according to the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network.

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It's unclear when the fissures might stop opening up and the volcanic activity might slow down. The risks currently include vog, flowing lava, acid rain and further earthquakes.

A flow from fissure 17 that opened up after the volcano in Hawaii. United States Geological Survey
Hawaii Kilauea Volcano Update: New Fissure, Lava Flows | U.S.