VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spawned a new lava fissure Saturday, emitting minor lava spatter less than a mile from a geothermal energy plant.

gettyimages 957499324 New Fissure From Kilauea Volcano Spawns Near Geothermal Plant

Smoke and volcanic gases rise as lava cools in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, in the aftermath of eruptions and lava flows from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, on May 11, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano’s Halemaumau crater “has raised the potential for explosive eruptions” at the volcano. Vog, a haze or smog containing gases, smoke and dust from volcanic eruptions, may eventually spread from the eruptions to other islands in Hawaii. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The U.S. Geological Survey said 16 fissures have now opened up on the Big Island. The latest arose around 6:45 a.m. about 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) northeast of the last fissure in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

Scientists said the lava flow forming in the crack has been minor, but that could always change.

“The fissure itself is small,” said USGS scientist Janet Babb. “As it was described to me, it is so small it could hardly be called a fissure.”

gettyimages 956665164 New Fissure From Kilauea Volcano Spawns Near Geothermal Plant

Park visitors watch as an ash plume rises from the Halemaumau crater within the Kilauea volcano summit caldera at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 9, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. The volcano has spewed lava and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas into communities, leading officials to order 1,700 to evacuate. Officials have confirmed 26 homes have now been destroyed by lava in Leilani Estates. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Babb said the fissure is about eight-tenths of a mile east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

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

Geologists warn that Kilauea could shoot out large boulders and ash out of its summit crater. But scientists concurred that Hawaii is safe for visitors.

gettyimages 957498782 New Fissure From Kilauea Volcano Spawns Near Geothermal Plant

Smoke and volcanic gases rise as lava cools in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, in the aftermath of eruptions and lava flows from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, on May 11, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano’s Halemaumau crater “has raised the potential for explosive eruptions” at the volcano. Vog, a haze or smog containing gases, smoke and dust from volcanic eruptions, may eventually spread from the eruptions to other islands in Hawaii. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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.

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.

By AUDREY McAVOY and JAE C. HONG

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

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