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Volcano Alerts At Highest Level As Eruption Intensifies In Hawaii

Volcano Alerts At Highest Level As Eruption Intensifies In Hawaii

The USGS has warned the volcano may become "more explosive".

The new eruption was reported Monday in the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision, an area that has already been evacuated.

"Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure".

USGS says the red warning is for increased ash emission from the volcano summit.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported the fissures opened just east of the Puna Geothermal Venture energy conversion plant, where steam and hot liquid are brought up through underground wells and the steam feeds a turbine generator to produce electricity.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) raised its alert level for Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano on Tuesday evening.

"There's a lot of worst-case scenarios and roads getting blocked is one of them", said Hickman, standing on Highway 137, in the potential path of the lava flow, some two miles (3 km) away. Activity was dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast and southeast.

Ash and volcanic smog, or vog, as it is called, rose to 12,000 feet (3,657 meters) above Kilauea's crater and floated southwest, showering cars on Highway 11 with gray dust and prompting an "unhealthy air" advisory in the community of Pahala, 18 miles (29 km) from the summit. The possibility exists, however, that water may not be entering the crater, as feared, and gas and steam may be safely venting, scientists said. It is the first time the alert has been issued since Kilauea began erupting again 12 days ago, according to Reuters.

As volcanic fissures keep opening up on Hawaii's Big Island and spewing out lava, homeowners are desperately trying to find out if their insurance covers possible losses.

Remaining locals put out bottles of alcohol on Tuesday as offerings to the Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire. So far, mass evacuations haven't been needed.

Lava and smoke explode from Fissure 17 at Leilani Estates in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano.

The American Red Cross said 500 people sought refuge in its shelters on Sunday night because of worsening volcanic activity. "There really isn't much more that's open".

"We're observing more or less continuous emission of ash now with intermittent, more energetic ash bursts or plumes", said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Deputy Scientist-In-Charge Steve Brantley on a conference call with reporters.

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