As land in lower Puna inflates and extends, huge cracks develop - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

As land in lower Puna inflates and extends, huge cracks develop in roads

Cracks continue to grow in lower Puna as volcanic activity continues. (Image: USGS) Cracks continue to grow in lower Puna as volcanic activity continues. (Image: USGS)
Officials say it's unclear when volcanic activity might stop in lower Puna. (Image: USGS) Officials say it's unclear when volcanic activity might stop in lower Puna. (Image: USGS)

New images point to another growing problem in lava-ravaged Leilani Estates: Huge and growing cracks in the roads.

Some of the cracks are as wide as a yard.

And geologists are warning the problem will continue.

The reason for the cracks is simple: As volcanic activity in lower Puna continues, the land is essentially "inflating," USGS geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua said.

"The entire area is extending," he said.

Steam is coming out of some of the cracks, but not all of them.

On Thursday, geologists snapped new photos of some of the large cracks on Nohea Street and Pohoiki Road. 

Steve Brantley, also with the USGS, said the growing cracks indicate that volcanic activity in the subdivision is likely to continue.

"It's an indication the rift zone is being forced apart," he said. "I think clearly it points to the potential for additional eruptive activity in the lower east rift zone." 

This story will be updated.

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