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Big Island councilwoman wants state to rename Fissure 8 with help from Puna community

HONOLULU (KHON2) - It's known as Fissure 8, the active flow oozing fresh lava into the ocean. 

The Hawaii County city council may soon take up a measure that would urge the state to come up with an official name. 

Though called a fissure, by standards it is considered a large tephra cone. Located on the East Rift Zone within Leilani Estates, Fissure 8 first opened up in May. 

Since then, it's surrounded the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant, crossed Highways 132 and 137, and burned hundreds of homes in Kapoho Farm Lots, Vacationland, and Kapoho Beachlots.

The active flow destroyed the Wai'opae Tidepool and changed the structure of Kapoho Bay. 

"This fissure 8 is just a placeholder name. Until the appropriate stake holders can get to the table," explained Hawaii County Council member Susan Loy, who introduced Resolution 640

Loy wants the state to consult with community members with direct cultural and familial ties to the Puna district before choosing an official name. 

"The support I've gotten has been about creating certainty for that community that on a daily basis goes with uncertainty. They really see this as an an opportunity, to be part of that discussion and be certain they will be consulted."

KHON2 checked with the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names, and was told USGS scientists are responsible for picking a new name for Fissure 8. 

"This will go on, the legacy of this area will go on. That's why we should care. That's why we call Kilaeuea, Kilaeuea. That's why we call Hilo, Hilo. And we write songs about those things and we tell stories. That's why it's important. It will become a part of our future."

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