Lava Threatens Israeli Company's Power Station in Hawaii

Officials have been handing out particulate masks to help residents on southeast Big Island breathe. But now they're warning about other hazards and even more eruptions

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images

The nearby Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, captured a time-lapse glimpse at Kilauea from Monday night into Tuesday morning as the light from the volcano and its almost two-dozen fissures beamed through the clouds. "We were told things were taken care of, and then we find out they were not taken care of", said resident Sabine Nagasawa.

She says it's also producing the highest lava wall, which is blocking molten rock from flowing north toward the plant.

Puna supplies 25% of the Big Island's power, and had been built smack in the rift zone of Kilauea.

The Puna district's geothermal plant has been closed since shortly after lava began erupting on May 3 through newly opened fissures in the ground running through neighborhoods and roads in an area near the community of Pahoa.

The eruption has destroyed 50 buildings, including about two dozen homes. The building was owned by the state and was used in geothermal research projects in the early days of the site.

Production wells at the Puna Geothermal plant, which harnesses heat and steam from the earth's core to spin turbines to generate power, have been plugged to prevent toxic gases from seeping out.

A flammable gas called pentane is used as part of the process, though officials earlier this month removed 190,000 litres of the gas from the plant to reduce the chance of explosions.

Ormat said in a May 15 statement that there was a low risk of surface lava making its way to the facility.

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images
This is what the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii looks like from space | The Tribune

Eruptions from the volcano began on May 3.

Puna Geothermal represents about 4.5 percent of Ormat's worldwide generating capacity.

The latest back-to-back upheavals of ash from the main summit crater of Kilauea - one before dawn and another several hours later - came on the 21st day of what geologists rank as one of the biggest eruption cycles in a century from one of the world's most active volcanoes.

The volcano's lava flow has destroyed more than 50 properties so far, with USGS scientists still unable to determine when the eruptions might stop.

Scientists say lava from Kilauea is causing explosions as it enters the ocean, which can look like fireworks.

That information includes detecting active fissures and fires, the height and composition of volcanic plumes, ground "deformation" caused by the movement of magma and images of ash and sulfur dioxide plumes, NASA said in their release.

Hawaii man Darryl Clinton has told how molten rock almost sheared his leg in half when he was hit over the weekend.


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