Dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide prompt warning on Hawaii's Big Island

EMBED </>More Videos

Officials on Hawaii's Big Island have issued a Condition Red alert warning residents of dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide being released into the air after a new fissure opened. (KGO-TV)

Officials on Hawaii's Big Island have issued a Condition Red alert warning residents of dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide being released into the air after a new fissure opened.

A 19th crack opened up miles from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, and each of them are spewing hot lava and toxic gases.


The county issued a Condition Red alert warning people that the sulfur dioxide gasses being released pose an immediate danger to public health.

Meanwhile, USGS officials are warning people who live nearby that the volcano could still explode.

VIDEO: Kilauea, lava flows, fissures, and science with Larry Beil
EMBED More News Videos

ABC7 Sports' Larry Beil grew up in Hawaii and has an extensive history covering volcanic eruptions. Here's Larry's lava lesson on Kilauea and its impact on the Big Island.


A new fissure emitting steam and lava spatter spurred Hawaii officials to call for more evacuations this past Sunday as residents braced for an expected eruption from the Kilauea volcano.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense issued an alert that an 18th fissure was discovered along a road west of a major highway on the Big Island. Residents on that road were being told to evacuate, and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.

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

TIMELAPSE: Lava from Hawaii volcano swallows car

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported the fissures opened 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. Plant workers last week as a precaution removed 50,000 gallons of a flammable gas stored at the site.
Geologists warn that Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl rocks and ash miles into the sky.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the Kilauea volcano and other recent volcanic eruptions around the world.

The Associate Press contributed to this story.
Related Topics:
volcanonaturedisasterdisaster reliefu.s. & worldfirewarningHawaii
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)