Hawaii volcano produces blue flames from methane

24 May, 2018, 14:41 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images

The earlier ash plume rose to a height of 8,000 feet (2,438 metres), while the later one reached about 5,000 feet (1,524 metres), authorities said.

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

"The ash has just been non-stop every day since the summit has been erupting", said Tiahti Fernandez, 24, as she sat in a vehicle parked outside her father-in-law's home in the tiny farming village of Pahala, 26 miles (42 km) southwest of the summit crater.

Millions of lives have been put at risk since May 3 after the Kilauea volcano's first eruptions saw fissures spewing lava which had been sitting in the volcano for up to 60 years. Crews worked into the night to cap the 11th and final well at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, which provides about 25 percent of the Big Island's power.

A fine layer of brownish-gray ash coated vehicles and other surfaces, and an ash plume rising from the volcano summit was visible in the distance through the hazy air.

The volcano produces methane when hot lava buries and burns plants and trees.

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Stovall said lava spatter from one of the vents was forming a wall that was helping protect a nearby geothermal plant. About 23 lava vents have opened in the weeks since as well, shooting sulfur dioxide gas into the air.

Ten wells at Puna Geothermal were "quenched", which cools them with cold water, and the last was plugged with mud. 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. Laze, a word combination of lava and haze, contains hydrochloric acid steam along with volcanic glass particles. Although potentially fatal if inhaled, Stovall said the danger was confined to the immediate vicinity of laze plumes themselves.

Kilauea began erupting lava in a residential neighbourhood on May 3.

The eruption has destroyed 50 buildings, including about two dozen homes.

A man named Darryl Clinton was left seriously injured after being hit by a lava bomb while he was sitting in his porch at the weekend, according to Hawaii County Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno.

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