15 MAY 2018: Another fissure spewing lava and unhealthy gas opened up Monday on Hawaii's Big Island, and a crack in the Earth that emerged a day earlier was sending molten rock on a slow run for the ocean, officials said.

Nearly 20 of the fissures have opened since the Kilauea volcano started erupting 12 days ago, and officials warn it may soon blow its top with a massive steam eruption that would shoot boulders and ash miles into the sky.

A fissure that opened Sunday led authorities to order 10 people to flee their homes, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said. Overall, nearly 2,000 people have been told to evacuate since May 3, and lava has destroyed more than two dozen homes.

The US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow from the crack that emerged Sunday was heading on a path that would take it to the ocean, about 2 miles (3 kilometres) away. No homes or roads were threatened by the flow.

Lava on Sunday spread across hundreds of yards of private land and loud explosions rocked the neighbourhood not far from the Leilani Estates subdivision, where more than a dozen other active vents opened over the past week.

Few fissures, ground deformation and abundant volcanic gases indicate eruptions on the eastern flank of Kilauea are likely to persist, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

“The appearance of the fissures in the past couple of days does not change the overall picture or concern,” Geological Survey scientist Steve Brantley said.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a fissure opened Saturday 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.

As a precaution, plant workers last week removed 50,000 gallons (189,265 litres) of a flammable liquid stored at the site.

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