Puna, HI -
People on Hawaii's big island still on edge as volcanic activity remains high. A new fissure opening up early this morning, as the summit of the volcano blasts out steam and ash. Plus, a powerful storm dumping crazy amount of hail in Colorado, that's in tonight's world of weather.
Another crack opening up in Hawaii's big island, making now 20 volcanic fissures threatening portions of the Leilani Estates and lower Puna areas. Evacuations remain in place, forcing some 2 thousand people from their homes, many of them displaced now for nearly 2 weeks. The 21st crack opening up Tuesday evening as activity continues.
Of the fissures, number 17 remains the most active, sending molten lava soaring hundreds of feet into the air, and producing a flow that is slowly carving its way toward the ocean at about 60 feet an hour. The flow has already traveled at least 2 miles from the vent opening.
The 20th fissure opening up early this morning in the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision, though so far it is not threatening any homes or roads. It did create quite the scene, producing loud booms that could be heard miles away.
Officials considering more evacuations, as lava flows and the potential for more fissures could cut off all access to some neighborhoods, and those left behind would have not way out.
We're really concerned about having to conduct a mass evacuation because if all the roads get cut off to complete communities, we might have to rescue about two thousand personnel. - Major Jeff Hickman, Hawaii National Guard
One of the biggest dangers in the area continues to be dangerous sulfur dioxide gases being released by the eruption. Emergency responders saying that if someone were to breath in the gas, it would make it difficult to breath and could be deadly.
Long time residents say they don't know what is coming next, and that's what makes this eruption so scary.
What’s happening now is so unpredictable. you don’t know where the next eruption is going to be. so everybody that is living on the lower part of Puna should be ready to evacuate really fast in short notice. - Ikaika Marzo, Big Island Resident
At Kilauea's summit, steam and ash eruptions have created more problems. An ashfall advisory posted for parts of the big island after an eruption this morning. And officials warn that additional steam blasts are possible, and could hurl large boulders up to a mile from the Halemaumau crater.
Back in the lower 48... a massive hail storm left quite the mess in Colorado. The storm pounding parts of the Denver metro on Monday with huge amounts of hail, the ice piling up several inches deep. The scene more winter-like than that of late Spring. Many spent part of the afternoon outside shoveling... in shorts and t-shirts! Reports say no significant damage was reported, but many trees and plants were stripped of leaves by the onslaught of hail.