The Latest: Volcano's fissures downgraded to 17, not 18

This Saturday, May 12, 2018, aerial image released by the Hawi'i County Fire Department, show a view of fissure 16, bottom right, that erupted this morning beginning just before 7:00 a.m. HST in the Big Island of Hawaii. The fissure is located roughly along the alignment of the earlier fissures, steam in top left photo, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 and Pohoiki Road. Warnings that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could shoot boulders and ash out of its summit crater are prompting people to rethink their plans to visit the Big Island. But most of the rest of the island is free of volcanic hazards, and local tourism officials are hoping travelers will recognize the Big Island is ready to welcome them. (Hawi'i County Fire Department via AP)

Scientists say the number of active fissures spawned by the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is 17, not 18

PAHOA, Hawaii — The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Scientists say the number of active fissures spawned by the Kilauea (kih-luh-WAY'-uh) volcano in Hawaii is 17, not 18.

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says geologists in the field have determined a fissure that opened Saturday did not emit any lava. Since there was no lava, it's not considered an active fissure.

An active fissure that was reported Sunday morning initially was called No. 18 but will be labeled No. 17.

Observatory scientist Steve Brantley says this most recent fissure measures 1,000 feet (300 meters) but is not acting vigorously. There is some intermittent spatter but no substantial lava flow.

Residents on Hawaii's Big Island have been bracing for a possible steam eruption that would be explosive enough to hurl rocks and ash.

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6:55 a.m.

Officials say a new lava fissure has been reported and are ordering more evacuations on Hawaii's Big Island.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense issued an alert Sunday morning that steam and lava spatter are coming from an 18th fissure caused by the Kilauea volcano.

The agency says the fissure is to the west of Highway 132 along Hale Kamahina Loop Road.

They are ordering residents on that road to evacuate. Two community centers are open to shelter people and pets.

This latest opening comes the morning after two other fissures opened.

Geologists warn that Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl rocks and ash miles into the sky.

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5:50 a.m.

New lava fissures, ground deformation and abundant volcanic gases indicate eruptions on the eastern flank of Kilauea volcano are likely to continue.

Two new fissures opened on Saturday, bringing the total number of lava outbreaks in and around Leilani Estates to 17.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the latest fissure, which opened Saturday night, was spattering but no flow had yet formed. Fissure No. 16 opened and spilled lava into an open field earlier in the day.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the fissures opened just east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant. Plant workers last week removed 50,000 gallons of pentane stored at the site as a precaution.

Geologists warn that Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl rocks and ash miles into the sky.

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