Hawaiian Authorities Work to Protect Power Plant From Lava Flow

Hawaiian Authorities Work to Protect Power Plant From Lava Flow

Hawaiian Authorities Work to Protect Power Plant From Lava Flow

The Kilauea volcano erupted three weeks ago in Hawaii, and between the gushing lava, ash and toxic gas, it's a never-ending nightmare for Lower Puna residents.

The Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii is secure, and if lava did encroach on it the danger of a toxic gas release is "very low", authorities said.

Metal plugs in the wells, which run as deep as 2,438 metres underground, are an additional stopgap measure.

Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the warehouse adjacent to the plant was destroyed late Monday night. The plant has capacity to produce 38 megawatts of electricity, providing roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy demand.

The lava now has crept within 200 yards of the nearest well. Earlier alerts said the volcano has already destroyed the project's former testing area next to the Puna site.

Then there's the risk of explosions at a geothermal power plant. Workers have also managed to remove 60,000 gallons (227,124 litres) of pentane, a highly flammable and noxious liquid that's used at the plant.

"The Puna Geothermal Venture had always been contentious on the island, the Associated Press reported, with some native Hawaiians saying that it desecrated Kilauea, where the goddess of fire, Pele, is said to live". Goddess of fire, Pele, is believed to live on Kilauea volcano, and the plant itself is thought to desecrate her name.

"Our foremost concern is for the residents in the affected communities". The plant is expected to begin operating "as soon as it is safe to do so", according to the statement.

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

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said if lava interacts with the wells, it could release unsafe hydrogen sulfide gas.

Since then, the summit of Kilauea has erupted periodically with no warning.

The latest update from the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that a "moderate-level eruption" of lava was continuing to flow from Kilauea. Kilauea's summit is now belching 15,000 tons (13,607 metric tons) of the gas each day up from 6,000 tons (5443 metric tons) daily prior to the May 3 eruption.

If the molten lava compromises a well, . It hit him above the ankle.

Doctors saved his leg, but he must avoid putting weight on it for six weeks, he said.

Clinton was the first to suffer a major injury because of the eruption.

The map shows the path and coverage of the lava flows which have now entered the Pacific Ocean, causing toxic clouds of laze. "Laze", as scientists call it, is generated when the molten rock interacts with the sea and is cooled off.

Steam rises as lava enters the Pacific Ocean at dawn, after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure, on Hawaii's Big Island on May 22, 2018. Lava from the Kilauea volcano is hitting the Pacific Ocean and it's sending laze, a risky combination of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, into the air.

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