Hawaii's Erupting Volcano Looks Even Crazier From Space at Night

Hawaii's Erupting Volcano Looks Even Crazier From Space at Night

Wells have been capped at a geothermal plant in Hawaii as moving lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption threatens the property.

The AP reports the encroaching lava had actually helped: It had cooled and hardened, creating a wall preventing more molten rock from flowing toward the plant.

Scientists say the methane can seep through cracks several feet away from the lava.

Unless you've been living under a volcanic plug, you know that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a popular tourist destination, has been closed on the Big Island since the Kilauea volcano began hawking lava loogies earlier this month.

Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said heat is being detected from under the metal plates on Highway 130 and cracks nearby continue to steam, but there doesn't appear to be any sulfur dioxide coming from the ground in that area, where the highway crosses the rift zone.

Lava destroyed a building near the plant, bringing the total number of structures overtaken in the past several weeks to almost 50, including dozens of homes. Stefani Hinkle said she knows her neighborhood is unsafe; she feels it in her burning throat.

A fine layer of brownish-gray ash coated vehicles and other surfaces, and an ash plume rising from the volcano summit was visible in the distance through the hazy air.

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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. The public "should feel pretty comfortable that there should be no untoward events from Puna Geothermal Venture".

No major injuries have been reported from lava haze.

Laze is an acid steam formed when lava hits the ocean which has been likened to battery acid due to its high toxicity levels and can be lethal. Some 2,000 people have faced mandatory evacuations and another 2,000 in coastal communities may be forced to leave their homes if State Highway 130, their last exit, becomes blocked.

Scientists said ash emissions from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island reached 1,828 metres but quickly dispersed.

"But after this, well, we'll see", he said. "So he's just waiting to get the word so he can move on".

Fissures spew lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii. Kilauea is the most lethal volcano in American history, but this reputation comes mostly from a 1790 eruption that killed 400.

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