17th fissure opens near Puna Geothermal Venture; Parks, vacation rentals required to close

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PUNA (KHON2) – Hawaii Volcano Observatory reports a new 17th fissure has started to steam and spatter lava about 100 meters below fissure 16 at 6:00 p.m. There has been no lava flow at the time of this post.

This area was actively steaming earlier in the day. The new fissure (17) is about a half mile northeast from the end of Hinalo Road. Activity at fissure 16 produced a lava flow that traveled about 250 yards before stalling about 2:30 p.m.

Fissure 16 opened east of Puna Geothermal Ventures, northeast of Lanipuna Gardens, Saturday morning.

No homes are affected by these latest fissures.

Officials ordered the closure of all parks in the area and, for the safety of visitors, all inns and vacation rentals must also shut down.

Volcanic activity along Kilauea’s East Rift Zone had paused from Thursday.

However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area of Leilani Estates were expected.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the East Rift Zone intrusion and seismic activity appears to be moving downrift in a northeast direction. Hazardous fumes continue to be released from existing cracks and fissures.

The location of future outbreaks can’t be predicted, but could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or resumption of activity at existing fissures. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. 

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