USA: Lava inches toward geothermal plant raising fears in Hawaii

USA: Lava inches toward geothermal plant raising fears in Hawaii

Volcanic gases and vog emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents in the lower east rift zone. Officials said there was no release of any risky hydrogen sulfide gas after lava crept over the plugged wells.

Steve Brantley of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow seemed to have halted Sunday morning before it picked back up and covered the well at the plant, which lies on the southeast flank of the volcano, nestled between residential neighborhoods.

Hawaiii County Civil Defense said lava had reached the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant, covering a well.

Lava advancing west from fissure 7 on Leilani Avenue on May 27.

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has now covered nearly 2,400 acres in lava.

Ten more homes in the path of Hawaii's Kileaua volcano eruption have been destroyed overnight by fast-moving lava, a spokesperson for the Hawaii County Civil Defense told ABC News.

Infrared images reveal damage on Hawaii's Big Island

Because the lava was spread out over a wide area, the frontier of the flow was only moving at about three feet per second, Carolyn Parcheta, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a video message posted online.

Firefighters went door to door evacuating residents before the lava arrived.

"What has been coming out is just a small fraction of what was in the volcano", he said.

Scientists say explosive eruptions are occurring daily and lava is flowing from several cracks in the ground.

Since Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began a once-in-a-century-scale eruption on 3 May, authorities have shut down the plant, removed more than 60,000 gallons of flammable liquid, and deactivated wells that tap into steam and gas deep in the Earth's core.

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.

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