Friday, 22 June, 2018

Hawaii volcano sends another ash cloud high into the air

Massive lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano Creeping Lava Now Threatens Major Hawaiian Power Plant
Lisa Bryan | 26 May, 2018, 07:21

Kilauea, the volcano on Hawaii's Big Island that's been erupting since May 3, is visible from space - and astronauts have been helping with the emergency response. Relentless lava flow has reached the Puna Geothermal Venture property, the civil defense agency said.

Lava flow and ground cracking continued late Wednesday at Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported, as ash blanketed the Big Island.

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has entered the ocean from a third flow as molten rock continues to destroy everything in its path.

"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", Jim Kauahikaua, a USGS scientist, told the Associated Press.

On the heels of toxic gas clouds, which formed over the weekend as lava spilled into the ocean, the blue flames raise ideas of a Hawaii on the verge of an apocalypse.

But Kilauea's activity ratcheted up considerably on May 3 after an quake rattled the region; lava began spilling from newly created fissures and spreading through neighborhoods, turning parts of the Big Island into disaster zones.

Since Kilauea's massive eruption, rivers of fire have swallowed at least 40 structures, hurled lava through cracks in the earth's surface and devastated livelihoods.


Residents of Leilani Estates have been allowed to return at times since the eruptions began.

'We are kind of in this steady state, ' said Wendy Stovall, a scientist at the US Geographical Survey.

In Pahoa, just a few miles from the lava flow, Nathan came across Robert Carton, who was was seeking information about his father's home, which was evacuated weeks ago and may very well be lost. Ormat operates other geothermal power plants in the U.S., Kenya, Guadalupe, Guatemala and Honduras.

Officials said there was no "immediate threat" to the Puna Geothermal Company (PGV) a 38-megawatt plant run by the state of Hawaii.

The sheer force of the lava bomb was what Darryl Clinton remembered feeling first, more powerful than any waves he had ever encountered in the ocean surrounding Hawaii.

Authorities also said that emissions of sulfur dioxide gas, harmful if inhaled, remained at high levels from newly opened lava-spewing fissures in the ground running through populated areas on the eastern flank of the volcano. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

Tourism officials cheered news that a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that tours the Hawaiian Islands would resume stopping in Kailua-Kona next week.

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