The current eruption cycle began on May 3 following two major earthquakes and at least 44 homes and other structures in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens area of the Puna district have been destroyed.
Volcanic vents have formed in the Earth’s surface and lava has oozed from the cracks in the ground, destroying buildings, cars and huge swathes of land.
Geologists say Kilauea’s eruption has now entered a more violent phase, in which larger volumes of molten rock are oozing from the ground and travelling farther than before.
How many fissures are active?
Fissure six reactivated overnight on Monday and the fissure has been erupting into the early morning of Tuesday, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).
Lava flows from this fissure are slowly moving toward the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, HVO said.
This is in addition to lava from Fissure 22, which crossed onto the power plant’s property on Monday afternoon.
Lava from fissure six is slowly moving toward PGV’s property, but HVO say there is no immediate threat to any of the underground wells at the plant.
Officials are closely monitoring the situation, according to HVO.
PGV is located in the Kilauea East Rift Zone and is a geothermal energy conversion plant which generates electricity, which is then sold to Hawaii Electric Light.
The latest map of the fissure shows a total of 23 fissures in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens area and 16 of the fissures are still active.
The USGS said:”Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system.
“Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings and messages.”
The map shows the path and coverage of the lava flows which have now entered the Pacific Ocean, causing toxic clouds of laze.
More than 2,000 people have been ordered from their homes due to lava flows and toxic sulfur dioxide gas, levels of which have tried in the last two days, according to civil defence officials.
The Hawaii National Guard has warned of more mandatory evacuations if further highways are blocked.