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18th Lava-Spewing Fissure in Hawaii Volcano Leads to New Evacuations

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18th Lava-Spewing Fissure in Hawaii Volcano Leads to New Evacuations

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. The planned airlift of 2,000 residents using four Black Hawk helicopters will begin if new volcanic fissures close off road access to semi-rural neighbourhoods.

In this May 13, 2018 photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey, gases rise from a fissure near Pahoa, Hawaii. An 18th fissure also opened over the weekend, but since no lava was seen spewing from it, the authorities only documented the 17 active fissures.

The eruptions have forced over 2000 people to evacuate their homes, but local authorities say they hope tourists will still visit the island.

Hawaiian officials are calling for more evacuations after a new fissure opened up on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano. Since there was no lava, it's not considered an active fissure.

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

According to CNN, 2,000 people have been evacuated so far, and community centers are being made available to serve shelters for families and their pets.

Another new volcanic fissure has formed as the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island continues to erupt and lava from another fissure is carving a channel toward the ocean.

The Hawaii Fire Department issued a "condition red" alert on Monday because fissures in the southeast area of the Lanipuna Gardens area were issuing high levels of sulfur dioxide.

Nearby resident Richard Schott, 34, sat near a police checkpoint and watched as the eruption churned just over a ridgeline and behind some trees. The fissure measures about 1,000 feet long, officials said.

Last week, the local rescue service carried out the evacuation of about 2,000 people, mostly residents of the village of Lehalani Estates.

"There's a lot of worst-case scenarios and roads getting blocked is one of them", said Hickman, standing on Highway 137, in the potential path of the lava flow, some two miles (3 km) away.

The latest cracks reported on Monday bring to 19 the number of fissures caused by the volcano eruption. Last week, plant workers removed the 50,000 gallons of pentane, a highly-flammable chemical stored at the site, as a precaution.

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