Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

The lava flow in Hawaii is smaller than you might be picturing

Lava fountaining at Fissure 22 is seen reaching a height of about 50 m at times during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volc Lava fountaining at Fissure 22 is seen reaching a height of about 50 m at times during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volc
Domingo Copeland | 24 May, 2018, 14:39

A photo shared by the United States Geological Survey shows striking blue flames peeking through the cracks of the street. "The air quality has been so bad that everybody has been walking around with a (dust) mask".

Millions of lives have been put at risk since May 3 after the Kilauea volcano's first eruptions saw fissures spewing lava which had been sitting in the volcano for up to 60 years.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Governor David Ige said that while officials are continuing to monitor gases leaking from the power plant, "all wells are stable at this point".

A fine layer of brownish-gray ash coated vehicles and other surfaces, and an ash plume rising from the volcano summit was visible in the distance through the hazy air.

Molten lava crept into the grounds of a geothermal power plant site, as workers rushed to shut down the facility to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

"Residents in the affected area should be prepared to take leave of the area with little notice due to gas or lava inundation", the civil defence bulletin warned.

Stovall said lava spatter from one of the vents was forming a wall that was helping protect a nearby geothermal plant.

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The volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and steam.

Ten wells at Puna Geothermal were "quenched", which cools them with cold water, and the last was plugged with mud.

The facility also received a respite from Mother Nature. Lava has burned and buried more than a dozen homes in the community, and 1,700 people have fled.

The methane can seep through cracks several feet away from the lava and can also cause explosions when it's ignited while trapped underground.

Hawaii County has ordered about 2,000 people to evacuate from Leilani Estates and surrounding neighbourhoods since the eruption began on May 3. Most recently, Kilauea's lava has begun flowing into the Pacific Ocean, generating plumes of toxic gas and steam called "laze" and shards of volcanic glass as the molten rock hits the seawater. The caustic plume, which can be fatal if inhaled, is the latest hazard in an eruption that shows no signs of stopping.

A Hawaii island man injured by what officials called a lava bomb spoke from his hospital bed Tuesday.

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