Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Hawaii's Erupting Kilauea Volcano Is Now Spouting Blue Flames of Burning Methane

Hawaii's Erupting Kilauea Volcano Is Now Spouting Blue Flames of Burning Methane

But by Wednesday, USGS officials said a wall of lava has been forming from the fissure nearest the plant, preventing molten rock from reaching the facility.

Authorities were racing Tuesday to close off production wells at a geothermal plant threatened by a lava flow from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island.

Early Wednesday morning, officials from the U.S. Geological Survey spotted blue flames rising from cracks in a country road in Leilani Estates, near where lava is spewing from the Kīlauea volcano's lower east rift zone.

Lava entered the ocean from a third flow, marking the third week of a Hawaii volcano eruption that has opened up almost two dozen vents in rural communities, destroyed dozens of buildings and shot miles-high plumes of ash into the sky.

"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", Jim Kauahikaua, a USGS scientist, said.

Lava from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is threatening a geothermal power plant owned by an Israeli company.

So far, more than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the area as almost two dozen fissures opened in the ground and lava slowly moved toward the sea.

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At least 50 rural homes and other structures have been destroyed by lava from fissures in a small area of the Big Island.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency warned in its latest bulletin that residents downwind of Kilauea should take care to avoid exposure to ash, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, particularly in people with respiratory problems. Lava continues to erupt in two evacuated subdivisions. The observatory said in a release that the volcano's fissures were actively expelling lava during the period in which the time-lapse footage was shot.

"One of the first things emergency responders wanted to know was where the lava was coming out, where are all the fissures", said J.

Lava from a nearby, new volcanic vent entered, then stalled, on the 815-acre (329.8 hectare) property where the Puna Geothermal Venture wells occupy around 40 acres (16 hectares).

Authorities are urging people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean because of its hazards.

Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall said the methane could cause explosions when it ignited while trapped underground.

According to reports, both Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have canceled stops at Hilo, the Big Island's port, so tourists can't "come seek" adventure there, even if they wanted to.

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