UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A new crack opened near one of the world’s most active volcanoes sparking fresh safety concerns.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed an 18th fissure opened Monday morning, May 14 near Leilani Estates on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Officials expanded the evacuation zone in response to this latest fissure.
Authorities warned residents of nearby Lanipuna Gardens to be on the lookout for toxic gas plumes and lava flows.
They are also enforcing a temporary flight restriction for lower Puna.
Kilauea volcano started erupting nearly two weeks ago after hundreds of earthquakes rattled the Big Island.
Video footage shows tides of molten rock creeping across roadways, swallowing cars and fences, while toxic gases belch so-called “splatter bombs” hundreds of feet into the air.
Plumes of ash are even visible from the International Space Station.
While volcanic activity has so far been limited to lava flows issuing from fissures, many fear Kilauea’s crater could soon explode.