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The Latest: New fissure spatters lava from Hawaii volcano

May 13, 2018

Ken Gadd, a first-time visitor from Dayton, Ohio, takes pictures of the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Friday, May 11, 2018. The park is closed due to the threat of an explosive volcanic eruption. Warnings that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could shoot boulders and ash out of its summit crater are prompting people to rethink their plans to visit the Big Island. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

A new lava fissure has opened up on Hawaii’s Big Island in the vicinity of a geothermal energy plant.

The U.S. Geological Survey said minor lava spatter erupted from the new fissure Saturday morning, which brings the total number of fissures to 16.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the fissure opened 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) northeast of the last fissure and east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

No significant lava flow has been reported so far.

Plant workers this week removed the 50,000 gallons of pentane stored at the site as a precaution.

Geologists warn that the Kilauea volcano could shoot out large boulders and ash out of its summit crater.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a major disaster exists on the Big Island.

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5:55 a.m.

Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea’s eruption won’t deter travelers from visiting the state’s largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit.

Travel industry executives note most of the Big Island is free of eruption threats from Kilauea, which began spurting lava into a residential neighborhood last week.

George Szigeti, CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority says Kilauea is being monitored constantly and says the Big Island is “immense” and there are large parts that are unaffected by the volcano.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a major disaster exists on the Big Island. The move will make federal financial assistance available to state and local governments as they repair roads, public parks, schools and water pipes damaged by the eruption.

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