Timelapse shows lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano invading backyard

29 May, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Carlos George
  • New lava flow crosses onto Hawaii geothermal plant property

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 stabilized to assess the impact of earthquakes and subterranean lava flows on the wells.

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.

There are at least three active fissures, or cracks, with lava flowing out of them.

Satellite imagery and analytics firm DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company, directed its cameras over a large portion of the lava flow on May 23, including a close up of the imperiled Puna Geothermal power plant.

A series of summit explosions on Saturday from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano spewed ash up to 11,000 feet (3,353 m) and dusted the grey powdered rock on communities to the southwest, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. In a Sunday statement, the Hawaii Civil Defense Authority said all the wells are secured and stable.

Lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world, according to the head of the state's emergency management agency.

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The plant's spokesman Mike Kaleikini was quoted as saying that no release of hydrogen sulfide had been detected on the site so far, which is the biggest concern if lava were to hit the geothermal wells.

Both wells had been plugged ahead of time to prevent the release of gas that could turn toxic when it comes to contact with lava, the report said.

The 38-megawatt Puna power plant supplies 25% of the island's electricity.

There continue to be frequent explosive eruptions at the summit of Kilauea, including one early Monday morning that sent plumes of ash 12,000 to 13,000 feet into the air.

The haze, a phenomenon known as "vog" or volcanic smog, "is spreading across Micronesia", the US National Weather Service based in Guam said.

About 2,200 acres (890 hectares) have been scorched and the eruptions are expected to cut tourism revenues by about $3 million as cruise ships cancel visits.

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