Workers plugging energy wells as lava flows nearby

26 May, 2018, 07:09 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Massive lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

A photo shared by the United States Geological Survey shows striking blue flames peeking through the cracks of the street.

The Kilauea volcano erupted three weeks ago in Hawaii, and between the gushing lava, ash and toxic gas, it's a never-ending nightmare for Lower Puna residents.

"I think the biggest worry for us is based on the geologic history of this volcano - is that the current fissure activity could actually become a bit larger", said geologist Steve Brantley from the U.S. Geological Survey.

This was just the second time Kauahikaua has seen the blue flames during a volcanic eruption, he also told the AP. The tiny blue blazes are a result of buried vegetation catching fire and filling cracks in the road with ignitable methane.

It seems the volcano was also on their side this time, as accumulations of cooled, hardened lava created a massive 10 metre wall which diverted the flow of fresh lava to the south away from the plant.

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Thousands of Big Island residents who were living near the lava flows have already evacuated the area to escape the lava flows and noxious sulphur dioxide gases rising from the vents.

The wells at the PGV plant are between 1,828.80m to 8,000 feet deep (1,830 to 2,440 meters).

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. State and federal officials have been planning to reopen that route, which extends from Kalapana to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, but construction has not yet begun on that project. Lava has crossed a coastal highway and into the Pacific Ocean, causing a phenomenon known as "laze", and crept towards a geothermal plant in the Puna district.

A man hit by a "lava bomb" during eruptions says he's lucky to be alive.

Clinton was the first to suffer a major injury because of the eruption.

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Scientists said Tuesday that lava from the volcano was causing "fireworks-like explosions" as it entered the ocean.

The lava from the Kilauea volcano has destroyed around 50 homes and structures, 2,000 people remain evacuated.

Laze is an acid steam formed when lava hits the ocean which has been likened to battery acid due to its high toxicity levels and can be lethal.

With one highway severed and another one threatened, officials continue to be frank about the possibility of lava flows isolating residents in lower Puna.

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