Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Hawaiian volcanic lava covers over 2000 acres of land

Hawaiian volcanic lava covers over 2000 acres of land

Hawaiii County Civil Defense said that lava had reached the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant, covering a well.

Operator Ormat Technologies Inc last week said there was no above-ground damage to the plant but it would have to wait until the situation stabilised to assess the impact of earthquakes and subterranean lava flows on the wells.

Lava approaches the Puna Geothermal Venture in the Leilani Estates near Pahoa, Hawaii. There was concern the lava would release hydrogen sulfide or other toxic gases.

Activity at fissure 6 is seen as lava fountains build a small spatter cone (black mound) from which lava spills out on the surface and flows into a small pond (left of the cone) in Hawaii, U.S. May 25, 2018.

A plant spokesman, Mike Kaleikini, told the news agency Hawaii News Now that the lava was as close as 130 feet (40 meters) from wells.

The Kilauea volcano has been erupting for three weeks, spewing lava from cracks that emerged in neighbourhoods and sending ash sky-high from its summit.

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Hawaii County officials say the number of structures lava has destroyed on the Big Island is now 82.

The three explosions, which began around 12:42 a.m. (1042 GMT), marked the latest bursts of ash and volcanic smog from Kilauea during the fourth week of what geologists rank as one of its biggest eruption cycles in a century.

About 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate from the rural communities where the lava fissures opened. When the lava meets the ocean - as it has at multiple points along the island's coastline - it creates huge amounts of steam and gas that further hinders visibility.

Haze from the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii blanketed the Marshall Islands 3,700km away on Sunday, as officials warned it would continue moving west.

Marines are on standby, ready to airlift residents if lava cuts off more streEts, leaving people stranded.

A fresh eruption from the summit's Halemaumau crater on Monday sent ash nearly 15,000 feet (4,600 m) into the air, said Maureen Ballard, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu.

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