Volcano observatory warns of further 'explosive eruptions' in Hawaii

PHOTO: Park visitors watch as an ash plume rises from the Halemaumau crater within the Kilauea volcano summit caldera at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, May 9, 2018, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.PlayMario Tama/Getty Images
WATCH Workers in Hawaii trying to move flammable gas from facility in lava's path

The threat of dangerous volcanic activity in Hawaii could continue for weeks and violent explosions could occur with "very little warning," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory cautioned Wednesday.

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The observatory, which is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program, released a warning stating that the current conditions near and in the Kilauea volcano may provoke further explosions.

The lowering of the lava lake at the volcano "has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks," the agency said in its statement.

PHOTO:
SLIDESHOW: PHOTOS: New eruption at Hawaii volcano

"At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue," the observatory added.

Part of the concern about a steam-driven explosion is that there will be "very little warning" before it occurs. The observatory warned that "a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced."

PHOTO: Neighbors survey lava damage in the Leilani Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaiis Big Island on May 9, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.Mario Tama/Getty Images
Neighbors survey lava damage in the Leilani Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 9, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.

The threat of future explosions was not the only bad news to come out in the past 24 hours.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said a new fissure had opened near the Kilauea volcano, bringing the total number of vents in the area to 15.

PHOTO: Stars shine above as a plume rises from the Halemaumau crater, illuminated by glow from the craters lava lake, within the Kilauea volcano summit at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, May 9, 2018, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.Mario Tama/Getty Images
Stars shine above as a plume rises from the Halemaumau crater, illuminated by glow from the crater's lava lake, within the Kilauea volcano summit at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, May 9, 2018, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.

Lava continued to spread throughout Wednesday as well, increasing the coverage area from 104 acres to 116.57 acres this morning, the agency wrote in a Facebook post for.

PHOTO: This image obtained May 9, 2018, released by the US Geological Survey shows a lava flow moving on Makamae Street in Leilani Estates at 09:32 am local time, on May 6, 2018 in Leilani Estates, Hawaii.Ho/AFP/Getty Images
This image obtained May 9, 2018, released by the US Geological Survey shows a lava flow moving on Makamae Street in Leilani Estates at 09:32 am local time, on May 6, 2018 in Leilani Estates, Hawaii.

In their latest update this morning, the agency noted that there has been no change in damage to property, however, with the number of destroyed structures remaining at 36 overnight.

The eruptions at the Kilauea volcano began a week ago on May 3.

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