Friday, 21 September, 2018

Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean from 3 flows

Hawaii power plant shuts down after lava from Kilauea volcano flows onto site US Geological Survey AFP
Gerardo Duncan | 26 May, 2018, 07:37

According to the description released Wednesday by the USGS, the blue flames seen near the Leilani Estates subdivision on the Big Island are methane gas that emerged from cracks in the ground near the lava. Methane gas is a result of the lava burning plants and trees.

Scientists say the methane can seep through cracks several feet away from the lava.

The eruption along Kilauea's East Rift Zone has displaced about 2,000 people, covered more than 1,700 acres with lava and destroyed about 50 structures since May 3.

That information includes detecting active fissures and fires, the height and composition of volcanic plumes, ground "deformation" caused by the movement of magma and images of ash and sulfur dioxide plumes, NASA said in their release.

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.

Stovall said lava spatter from one of the vents was forming a wall that was helping protect a nearby geothermal plant. "It's the end now because the lava rolled across it, wiping out the entire northeast section of Leilani Estates", Hickman said, who said the fountains were coming from fissures 6, 19, and 22.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency warned in its latest bulletin that residents downwind of Kilauea should take care to avoid exposure to ash, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, particularly in people with respiratory problems. The yard was littered every few feet with with fallen lava, but Clinton wasn't anxious about getting hit by the hunks of molten rock. This is only the second time in his career that he's seen blue flames during an eruption, Kauahikaua said. Residents have been concerned about hazards if the lava flowed over the plant's facilities, or if heat generated would interact with various chemicals used on-site.

US Geological Survey  AFP
US Geological Survey AFP

Officials shut down Puna Geothermal shortly after the current eruption began.

Late Saturday, a fast-flowing stream of lava pouring from one of the active fissures also reached Highway 137, which hugs the island's eastern coast.

Underground wells bring up steam and hot liquid, and the steam feeds a turbine generator.

Hinkle, 46, said she's financially stressed but can't leave now.

Geologists said that after three weeks of escalating activity, Kilauea volcano has entered a "steady state" of eruption.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it would reinstate port calls to the island's two largest cities, Kona and Hilo, after canceling them in recent weeks.

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