A new fissure in Hawaii’s Puna district has sent gases and lava exploding into the air, spurring officials to call for more evacuations as residents waited for a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano’s summit.
Hawaii county civil defense issued an emergency alert after the fissure was discovered early Sunday morning. The agency said one “unidentified structure” was destroyed by the new vent, bringing the total number of homes and other buildings lost to the lava to nearly 40.
Residents in the immediate area were told to evacuate, and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.
Geologists warn that Kilauea’s summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl huge rocks and ash miles into the sky.