Published: Thu, May 24, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Hawaii faces new threat of fumes from volcano's lava

Hawaii faces new threat of fumes from volcano's lava

The restive Kilauea Volcano belched clouds of ash into the skies over Hawaii's Big Island twice more on Wednesday as civil defense authorities reported that pressurized geothermal wells at a nearby power plant had been secured from approaching lava. The plant harnesses heat and steam from the earth's core to spin turbines to generate power.

The U.S. Geological Survey said sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano have more than doubled since the current eruption began.

Lava destroyed a building near the plant, bringing the total number of structures overtaken in the past several weeks to almost 50, including dozens of homes. The plant has capacity to produce 38 megawatts of electricity, providing roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy demand. 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.

"I'm good on the lava, yeah", he said.

"I just wanted to live". Fissure 17, at the northeastern end of the fissure system, is only weakly active now.

Before the Leilani Estates eruption, the volcano's summit had been releasing an average of 3,000 to 6,000 tons of sulfur dioxide each day.

Thermal map of lava flow
USGSThis thermal imaging map shows the lava pouring into the ocean

Clinton says a friend wrapped a sheet around his leg, dragged him down five flights of stairs, and called for help.

"It was the most forceful impact Ive ever had on my body in my life", Clinton told a crowd of reporters from his hospital bed Tuesday.

Doctors say he should be able to walk again, but can't put pressure on his injured leg for the next six weeks.

Scientists say lava from Kilauea is causing explosions as it enters the ocean, which can look like fireworks. Lava flowing from the volcano recently reached the ocean, causing a unsafe lava-haze phenomena known as ' laze' that sends acid- and glass-laced steam shooting into the air, creating yet another hazard for those downwind of the lava's ocean entry point.

Created by chemical reactions as hot lava boils seawater to dryness, the plume is described as "an irritating mixture of hydrochloric acid gas (HCl), steam, and tiny volcanic glass particles".

Additionally, astronauts on the International Space Station can see the eruption and have sent photos of it to the U. S. Geological Survey and emergency responders, NASA said.

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