Time lapse from Hawaii observatory shows eruptions at Kilauea

24 May, 2018, 09:58 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

Lava from a Kilauea volcano fissure flows past trees downed by lava, as it flows toward the Pacific Ocean, on Hawaii's Big Island, on Monday, May 21, near Pahoa, Hawaii.

"We're providing actionable scientific products to teams on the ground to support response activities and fill any gaps they may have in their information as the disaster is evolving", Struve said.

Hawaii County officials say lava from active fissures near the Puna plant has destroyed an old warehouse site that was used in early research and development.

Kilauea continues to erupt creating three lava fissures at Lanipuna Gardens on Hawaii's Big Island
Image Three lava fissures at Lanipuna Gardens on Hawaii's Big Island

Kilauea began erupting lava in a residential neighbourhood on May 3. The remarkable footage was taken May 22 in the vicinity of the Puna Geothermal Venture, a plant that brings steam to the surface by way of several underground wells.

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. Pele, the goddess of fire, is believed to live on Kilauea, and the plant is thought by certain elements to desecrate her name, the Associated Press reports. Ormat operates other geothermal power plants in the U.S., Kenya, Guadalupe, Guatemala and Honduras. It is responsible for 4.5% of Ormat's total geothermal power production worldwide.

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

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Beyond the immediate fire danger from the lava, high levels of sulfur dioxide spewing from the volcano pose a serious threat to children, elderly people, and people with respiratory issues, the United States Geological Survey said.

The occurrence of new lava vents, now numbering about two dozen, have been accompanied by flurries of earthquakes and periodic eruptions of ash, volcanic rock and toxic gases from the volcano's summit crater.

An explosive eruption at the Kilauea summit at 3:45 a.m. sent ash to a height of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) over Hawaii's Big Island, civil defense said. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava. Lava flowing from the volcano recently reached the ocean, causing a unsafe lava-haze phenomena known as ' laze' that sends acid- and glass-laced steam shooting into the air, creating yet another hazard for those downwind of the lava's ocean entry point.

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Residents have been concerned about hazards if lava flowed over the plant's facilities or if the molten rock heated chemicals at the plant.

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