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Hawaii volcano eruption: Officials reveal 'BIGGEST THREAT' - and it's NOT an eruption

HAWAIIAN officials have revealed the "biggest threat" facing residents on the Big Island is not the next eruption from the Kilauea volcano but another lava fissure that could cut off communities from evacuation routes.

The "biggest threat" from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is not the big eruption which is widely expected, but the potential for new destructive fissures popping up on the Big Island. 

Hawaii faces a new fissure "on an almost daily basis" according to a report from US broadcaster CBS.

A 17th fissure, which was initially misnamed as the 18th fissure, opened up yesterday, spewing lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

The location of the latest fissure is close to a highway key to all evacuation routes on the island, prompting fears that communities could be cut off during the next eruption.

This fissure appeared at least several hundred yards long and produced lava splatter that rose "many tens of feet into the air," according to the US Geological Survey.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spotted "lava fountaining, an explosion of spatter bombs, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving northeast".

The fissure, which is a crack in the ground that allows for lava to pour out, has led to speculation that evacuation numbers may more than double in the coming days.

The Hawaii National Guard has revealed that, with only 90 minutes notice, they could rescue 2,000 people in troop-carrying vehicles and Blackhawk helicopters.

The Hawaii National Guard has warned anyone who chooses to stay behind cannot count on being rescued.

They added that residents in the towns of Kapoho and Kalapana should stay alert and "be prepared to evacuate immediately."

According to CBS, officials had revealed that the "biggest threat to residents" would be a fissure that cuts into Highway 132, blocking evacuation routes.

Earlier today, the United States Geological Survey has warned more fissures are at risk of opening.

A spokesman said: “Earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide in the area indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely as this eruption continues.”

In addition to the new fissures, US Geological Survey officials said an explosive eruption at Halemaumau crater at the top of the Kilauea volcano could spread ash plumes over an area 12 miles wide.

Steve Brantley, deputy scientist-in-charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said: "We've got all the warning signs we need.

"There may not be any additional warning before the magma actually starts moving up to the surface."

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Tags: Daily Express, Sunday Express. UK, World News
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