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