Friday, 22 June, 2018

Lava from Hawaii's volcano reaches local geothermal plant

Infrared images reveal damage on Hawaii's Big Island Lava creeps over Hawaii geothermal plant property [photos]
Charlie Simmons | 29 May, 2018, 14:05

In this May 24, 2018, photo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, lava erupts from a fissure in the Leilani Estates neighborhood near Pahoa on the island of Hawaii. Lava fountains in the lower east rift zone are flowing up to 150 feet high, according to the USGS.

Geothermal wells often release small amounts of toxic hydrogen sulfide during normal operations, usually well below emissions limits set by local governments, but lava could destabilize a well and release more, the analysis said.

FEMA's David Mace says the lava breached the property overnight and is within 200 metres of one of the capped wells, Nine News reports.

Lava-filled fissures have torn apart chunks of the southeastern side of the Big Island over the past three weeks as Kilaeau has become more active.

Civil defense officials said lava breached property belonging to the Puna Geotherma Venture, a geothermal power plant on Hawai'i Island - also known as the Big Island.

"Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings", it said.

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Some 2,000 people have already evacuated the area and hundreds more may need to flee as the lava threatens to cut off key roads. The slow-moving lava flow has disrupted the lives of many on the island, but officials have kept a very close eye on everything to ensure that nobody gets caught off guard (unless you're a Ford Mustang).

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall said Friday that the summit is shooting out a plume of water vapor and ash.

There are now more than 20 fissures associated with Kilauea, and they've fountained lava that has poured across the Hawaiian landscape and destroyed 41 homes and dozens of other structures.

"I never got to. walk in my house one last time", she said, on her family's GoFundMe page, which had been started to help offset evacuation costs.

According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, no hydrogen sulfide gas has been detected at the site.

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