The area affected by ongoing seismic activity, summit deflation, and a possible steam explosion at the summit of Kīlauea is the eastern part of the state near Leilani Estates, an area that contains less than 5% of the island's population, Okabe said.
Astronauts from inside the International Space Station have viewed the massive eruption of the Kilauea Volcano and witnessed the ongoing volcanic eruption which is located on the Big Island of Hawaii.
He said it's the "first leak we're seeing out of the bucket".
Lava from another fissure that opened over the weekend is making a path for the ocean, about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away.
Tourism on the island brought in $2.5 billion in revenue past year.
The new eruption was reported Monday in the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision, an area that has already been evacuated.
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Officials have ordered evacuations for about 2,000 people since the volcano began shooting lava into a residential neighborhood on May 3, and lava has destroyed more than two dozen homes. Areas near the volcano have been evacuated but the Hawaii Volcano National Park remains open. "In my opinion, the worst scenario includes a combination of large (for Hawaii) explosion at the summit combined with extended (many months) effusion of lava at the lower East Rift Zone", she told Fox News, via email.
A separate fissure is still active after it formed on Sunday.
A large explosion in Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could lead to an explosive eruption and send boulders, rocks and ash into the air in the coming weeks, the US Geological Survey (USGA) said on Wednesday. No homes or roadways are threatened by this flow.
There are now 18 open fissures on Kilauea and lava has scorched more than 117 acres.
Nearby resident Richard Schott, 34, watched from a police checkpoint as the eruption churned just over a ridgeline and behind some trees.
Rock samples and chemical analysis show the lava "so far looks to be similar to the 1955 lava chemistry", Tina Neal, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge, told reporters Friday, according to CNN affiliates KGMB and KHNL.
As a precaution, plant workers last week removed 50,000 gallons (189,265 liters) of a flammable liquid stored at the site.