Lava covers plugged well at Hawaii geothermal plant property
01 June, 2018, 19:31 | Author: Bert Pena
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.
Since the first eruption occurred in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the evening of Thursday, May 3, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava, flowing from numerous volcanic fissures, consumes everything in its path.
Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and toxic gases through a series of cracks in the ground on its eastern flank, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost nonstop for 35 years.
"Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that lava from several fissures continues to advance toward the Kapoho area", a Civil Defense message said, referencing an area that was devastated during a 1960 eruption.
"You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation", the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned.
The total number of evacuees was estimated to have risen to about 2,500 after residents from the nearby Kapoho area were evacuated as a precaution on Wednesday.
At least 128 structures on the island have already been destroyed, cut off or otherwise left uninhabitable by lava flows, Kim said.
The lava is bubbling from a particularly violent fissure - or volcanic crack in the Earth's surface - called Fissure 8.
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The US Geological Survey said the lava from the Kilauea volcano has covered an area of 5.5 square miles - that's four times as big as New York's Central Park. "I've got close friends in Leilani, which we helped evacuate a couple weeks ago, and now it's our turn".
"We're going to have to say no, that's not safe", the agency's volcanos account replied Monday, saying if the vent was belching volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide, the roasted marshmallows "would taste bad".
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones.
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Kilauea volcanic lava may cross geothermal property
Officials said there was no release of any unsafe hydrogen sulfide gas after lava crept over the plugged wells. Three weeks into the volcano's eruption, scientists said the summit is still too risky to survey on foot.