Two new fissures have opened up as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano gets ready to blow boulders 'big as a schoolbus'

Picture: Getty Images

Two new fissures have opened up on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Fissures 16 and 17 opened around 6.45am yesterday local time on the edge of the Puna Geothermal Venture and continuing a direct line heading northeast set by previous ruptures. This is fissure 16:

Picture: Big Island Video News/YouTube

More than 190,000 litres of pentane, a flammable gas, was removed from the geothermal plant last week as a precaution.

There are now more than a dozen lava outbreaks rolling right now as tension builds in anticipation of a steam explosion from the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. Here’s a great shot of what that looks like from the air:

Picture: Big Island Video News/YouTube

Here’s what it looked like at ground level:

More than two dozen homes have so far been destroyed and thousands of residents evacuated.

While onlookers described the fresh lava outbreaks producing “minor splattering” and small lava flows, the cracks continuing to form along the northeastern base of Kilauea point to an immenent explosion.

As CNN reports, lava coming up through the fissures coincides with lava draining from the crater lake.

Here are CNN’s pictures of the lake from April 23 to May 9:

As the lava drops, boulders and rocks are falling down into the crater.

Eventually they’ll block it. And with lava below the water table, steam will build up inevitably blow the blockage back out, as shown by USGS:

That could happen any time, and the boulders could be “as big as a schoolbus”.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.