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Hawaii Volcano Still Being Monitored

March 9, 2011

A fissure on Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii sent lava spewing more than 60 feet into the air recently, and scientists continued to monitor the activity closely.

Park rangers said that no homes were threatened in the latest blast and also cautioned campers and visitors to keep their distance while it continues to act up.

Kilauea has been constantly erupting for the past 28 years. But according to geologist Janet Babb of the US Geological Survey (USGS), this weekend’s activity indicates that there are “further unknowns” with the volcano.

One of the volcano’s crater floors, named Pu’u “ËœO’o, collapsed 370 feet on Saturday, the USGS said. The event was accompanied by 150 small temblors, which were all confined to the area around the volcano.

The ground fissure, which occurred on the eastern side of the volcano, was more than 1,500 feet long and spewed out tons of lava into the air, the USGS added.

Also, Napau crater began erupting around the same time. Authorities closed a trail on the east rift zone, the campsite near the crater, and nearby roads, said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Park Ranger Mardie Lane.

Visitors to the volcano can see the eruption from about 1.5 miles away and still be in the safe zone, she noted.

Image Caption: March 5, 2011. View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure located between Pu’u “ËœO’o and Napau. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack. Credit: USGS

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