BREAKING: Huge new crack in Hawaii volcano Kilauea sends lava spewing into nearby buildings

A new 1,000-foot fissure opened up in the ground in Hawaii’s Puna District, sending lava and hot gas into the air – bringing the number of homes destroyed by the lava to 40. Lava spread across hundreds of yards of private land and loud explosions rocked the neighborhood. Residents were told to evacuate – and some now fear a major eruption at Kilauea’s summit.  More than a dozen other active vents have opened in the past week.

Nearby resident Richard Schott, 34, sat near a police checkpoint and watched as the eruption churned just over a ridgeline and behind some trees.

‘I’ve actually seen rocks fly over the tree line and I can feel it in my body,’ Schott said. ‘It’s like a nuclear reaction or something.’ The new opening was still showing signs of activity Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said new fissures, ground deformation and abundant volcanic gases indicate eruptions on the eastern flank of Kilauea are likely to continue.  ‘The appearance of the fissures in the past couple of days does not change the overall picture or concern,’ USGS scientist Steve Brantley said.
Christian and Maritza Ricks, who moved to the area from California in April, stopped on the side of the road to watch and listen to the latest eruption. ‘I guess it’s just part of living on the island,’ Ricks said. He said he wasn’t really afraid of the destruction happening around him. ‘In a way it’s kind of exciting to see what’s going on and be this close to it.’

Most of the lava outbreaks have occurred in and around the Leilani Estates neighborhood, where molten rock has burst through the ground, destroying more than two dozen homes and resulting in evacuation orders for nearly 2,000 people. The U.S. Geological Survey has reported nearly 20 active fissures. One that opened Saturday night was spattering, but no flow had formed.

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