Elevated levels of sulfur dioxide close schools, Pahoa post office

  • USGS photo

    This aerial image shows fissure No. 17 at about 7 a.m. Thursday northeast of Lanipuna Gardens.

  • Cindy Ellen Russell/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

    A plume of volcanic steam rises from the alignment of fissures in Kilauea volcano’s East Rift Zone on Wednesday.

  • USGS photo

    An aerial view of ground cracks on Pohoiki Road during an overflight of the eruptive fissure area at about 7 a.m. Thursday. Cracks continued to open and widen, some with horizontal and vertical offsets, in the area during the previous 24 hours.

  • U.S. Geological Survey photo

    A Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist on Thursday monitors the vertical offset across the cracks on Nohea Street in Leilani Estates. Cracks caused by the underlying intrusion of magma expanded significantly during the previous 24 hours, some with horizontal and vertical offsets, into the lower East Rift Zone.

A new lava fissure opened Thursday in Leilani Estates after a day of heavy air pollution in Pahoa and other parts of lower Puna that prompted closures of schools and a post office.