New fissure forms east of PGV

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Lava blasts out of fissure No. 16 today northeast of Lanipuna Gardens.
  • Triangles mark fissures that have erupted during the lower Puna eruption. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Lava erupted this morning from a volcanic fissure northeast of Lanipuna Gardens and east of Puna Geothermal Venture, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

The vent, which was still spewing lava this afternoon, is fissure No. 16. No flow was generated as of noon today, though small streams of lava were pooling around the edges.

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The vent is about a mile south of PGV and a mile west of Highway 132, which remains open.

The area is sparsely populated with farms and orchards. There were no apparent threats to structures as of noon today.

Mark Clawson owns an orchard in the area, uphill of the vent.

He told the Tribune-Herald he was on his deck at 6 a.m. this morning and could hear a loud whooshing sound, but couldn’t see anything.

Clawson said he will spend the rest of the day working on his orchard and garden.

“What will be, will be,” he said. “But I got to work until I get forced out.”

Residents from Kapoho to Kalapana were advised to make evacuation plans as of Friday. There were no new mandatory evacuations or road closures as of noon today.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists have said that magma has been moving downrift of Leilani Estates in a northeast direction.

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The eruption from Kilauea volcano started May 3 in Leilani Estates, and has destroyed 36 structures so far. This is the first vent to open since Wednesday.

Areas under mandatory evacuation are Leilani, Lanipuna Gardens and Alaili Road near Highway 130. About 2,000 people have been affected through evacuations.

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