Tuesday, 8 May 2018

fears an erupting volcano in Hawaii could threaten a geothermal power plant on the Big Island

Hawaii volcanic eruption threatens power plant

There are fears an erupting volcano in Hawaii could threaten a geothermal power plant on the Big Island.

8 May, 2018

The plant is located less then two kilometres away from where the Kilauea volcano began erupting last week.

A volcanic fissure with lava fountains as high as about 70m in Leilani Estates, Hawaii.

A volcanic fissure with lava fountains as high as about 70m in Leilani Estates, Hawaii. Photo: AFP

About 60,000 gallons of a highly flammable liquid are stored on the Puna Geothermal site from where staff have been evacuated.

Nearby at the Leilani Estates subdivision, two new fissures spewing hazardous fumes and lava have opened in the ground bringing the total number to 12.

This image released by the US Geological Survey shows the Kilauea Volcano summit lava lake which has dropped significantly over the past few days. This image released by the US Geological Survey shows the Kilauea Volcano summit lava lake which has dropped significantly over the past few days. Photo: AFP

About 35 structures have been destroyed including at least 25 homes with more than 1700 people evacuated.

Officials said they were taking a zero tolerance to any looting or vandalism in evacuated areas.

No deaths or injuries had been reported but as more fissures opened tourists and locals were warned to heed safety warnings.

Geologist Janet Babb from the US Geological Survey said as seismic activity continued to shake the area the situation remained fluid.

"We are learning things... we are collecting lava samples, samples of each fissure as they have erupted. And so those samples have now been analysed and so we're beginning to understand more about what is going on below the ground."

Officials would update locals at a community meeting tonight.

Meanwhile, New Zealand vulcanologist Brad Scott said the continuing eruption was likely to generate more earthquakes.

Small tremors continue to be felt in the Big Island's eastern corner after the eruption produced a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Friday.

The lava lake at Kilauea's summit was draining into the eastern rift zone and escaping through the new fissures, he said.

"Enormous volumes of molten material are moving in the volcano, pushing their way down the rift."

"So as a consequence of all of that molten material moving it's stressing and straining the volcano. It has generated many of the earthquakes. And as the Hawaiians are saying it's expected to generate more earthquakes as the eruption continues."

"We've Never Seen Anything Like This" - Hawaii Officials Warn Residents Of Dangerous Volcanic Smog

More than four days after the first fissures opened up in the ground surrounding Hawaii's Mt. Kilauea, the volcano's destructive eruptions continued on Monday, destroying more buildings in the island's tony Leilani Estates neighborhood, CNN reported.

Lava and hazardous gases are bubbling up through the cracks in the volcano's East Rift Zone, a situation that has been exacerbated by a series of powerful Earthquakes that rocked the area late last week.

High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide has been released into the air, forcing the government to issue a warning to residents living downwind from the volcano. Already, nearly 2,000 residents of the surrounding area have fled or been evacuated. They include residents of Leilani estates and the nearby Lanipuna Gardens.

But while the lava has caught the attention of photographers who've snapped thousands of pictures of the glowing red substance devouring homes, the Washington Post reports that an unseen danger has been threatening visitors and residents alike.


Watch Magma From Hawaii's Kilauea Consume A Car In Upscale Neighborhood

Since erupting last Thursday, Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed at least 30 homes and forced over 1,700 residents to flee as hot magma shoots through nine fissures which have opened up in the ground - spewing molten rock, toxic gas and steam into the air.

Incredible footage shows the lava flow during this morning's fissure eruption on the east side of Hawaii's Big Island. More than 1,800 residents have been evacuated from their homes. https://abcn.ws/2KGin9D 
The magma has been making its way through several upscale neighborhoods, including the Leilani Estates near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island, where ongoing eruptions along with several powerful earthquakes have cut off power and water to locals. 

"I have no idea how soon we can get back," said Todd Corrigan, who left his home in Leilani Estates with his wife Friday as lava burst through the ground three or four blocks from their home. They spent the night on the beach in their car and began looking for a vacation rental.
Hawaii County civil defense officials said two new fissures opened overnight, bringing the total to nine that opened in the neighborhood since Thursday. U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said that with the two new fissures, the total was 10, though one of the new ones had already stopped producing lava. -CBS

Here is a thermal image of the crater:  
Twitter user @bclemms posted a video of magma consuming a car:

Time Lapse of giant flow consuming car, telephone pole falling

Date: 5-6-2018
Location: Leilani Estates, Hi
Some evacuees were briefly allowed back to their homes to gather medicine, pets and other necessities. Authorities, however have warned residents that no commercial masks sold in stores and available to the general public - including those known as N-95, will protect against sulfur dioxide (SO), and that first responders require special masks and training not available to private citizens.  

Scientists expect more lava to find its way through additional vents near the Leilani Estates, but are unable to predict with certainty.

Why was allowed to be developed? Flows from the 1955 (red areas on map) showed area has HIGH hazard for future eruptions & flows? Eastern edge of development even has prominent craters (yellow areas) Seems at best ignorant & at worst negligent.
Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of the world's most active volcanoes. In 2014, lava burned a house and smothered a cemetery as it approached Pahoa, the town closest to Leilani Estates. But this flow stalled just before it reached Pahoa's main road.
Nearly 30 years ago, lava slowly covered an entire town, Kalapana, over the period of about a year. -CBS

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