The first steam-driven explosive eruptions on Kilauea in almost a century may soon begin, dusting downwind communities with ash that is an eye and respiratory irritant, observatory scientists said.
"Residents of lower Puna between Kapoho and Kalapana, are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption".
The U.S. Geological Survey said 16 fissures have now opened up on the Big Island.
The new fissure opened up about a 1.6km east of the existing vent system that has devastated the island's Leilani Estates neighbourhood, with a few homes on the edge of the field where the vent opened on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii National Guard jointly with other United States authorities are developing a mass evacuation plan for thousands of Big Island residents in light of a possible explosive eruption of Kilauea volcano, the guard's spokesman told Sputnik.
In addition, Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, threatens to begin a series of explosive eruptions within days or weeks that could form huge clouds of volcanic smog, or vog, and hurl boulders as big as small cars.
The subdivisions of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are under mandatory evacuations, with residents describing fissures in the streets emitting steam or lava.More news: Student shot in arm at California school, teen suspect held
More news: Chinese, Japanese trade ministers pledge to enhance cooperation, support free trade
More news: Manchester United's Jose Mourinho tips Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford
A total of 36 structures have been destroyed so far, authorities said.
Authorities on Thursday completed the removal of highly flammable chemicals from a nearby geothermal power plant that was in the path of creeping lava.
Plant workers this week removed the 50,000 gallons of pentane stored at the site as a precaution.
Experts feared that Kilauea could send ash and boulders from the its summit crater, which has not been seen for almost a century.
Neal said fresher, hotter lava could emerge because magma has been moving down Kilauea's rift zone toward the area where the volcano is erupting.
Ige's office said Friday the declaration means federal assistance will be available as the state covers costs associated with damaged roads, public parks, schools and water pipes.