Hawaii volcano eruption costs tourism industry millions

Dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide prompt health warning in Hawaii

Meanwhile, fissure 17, which opened Sunday morning, remained the most active, said Janet Babb, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist.

Since eruptions began 10 days ago, dozens of homes have been destroyed and officials have ordered the evacuations of almost 2000 people in the lower Puna district of the Big Island, home to around 187,000 residents.

Lava samples from the devastating volcanic eruptions on Hawaii's Big Island are being analyzed at Hamilton College.

A emergency message from county officials was issued Monday, as high levels of volcanic gas threatened the Puna population living in the area of the ongoing eruption on the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea.

Two more fissures opened in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 19.

"So far those explosions have not occurred, and I think the key here is that the vent system is an open one, therefore pressure is not being built or developed down at the top of the lava column", Mr Brantley said.

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Cancellations from May through July have hit at least $5 million, said Ross Birch, executive director of the island's tourism board.

The volcanic vents, or fissures, have gobbled up dozens of homes and vehicles, with 37 structures so far destroyed. The industry grew the fastest on the Big Island past year compared to other islands in the archipelago, pulling in about $2.5 billion in visitor spending. There was "an immediate impact" after the Kilauea volcano first erupted.

"Be aware of the unpredictable nature of unsafe levels of SO2 gas because it can be carried far from the fissures with wind speed and direction", civil defence said in a Facebook post.

Lava from a huge new fissure is tearing through farmland towards a coastal dirt road that is one of the last exit routes for about 2000 residents in the southeast area of Hawaii's Big Island. That prompted officials to issue calls for more evacuations as residents awaited a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano's summit.

Big Island authorities said the eruption effects just 10 percent of the island, so there's plenty to see and do without having to go near the red hot rivers of lava that continue to crawl their way out of fishers on the slopes of Kilauea.

In this Sunday, May 6, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, a lava flow moves across Makamae Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa on the island of Hawaii.

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