Hawaii volcano threatens power plant; mass evacuations possible

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Gas emitted during steam-drive explosions will be mainly steam, but will include some sulfur dioxide as well.

"Based on the severity of the damage and preliminary assessments, it is clear that recovery will overwhelm state and county resources", the delegation wrote in a letter to President Trump.

Just this Wednesday, there was an explosion that sent a huge column of ash above the crater. No one lives in the area surrounding the summit crater, but preparations are still being made for an explosive event. As Maddie Stone at Eartherreports, the summit crater is fed by a larger chamber of magma beneath the volcano via a narrow passageway.

The national park around Hawaii's Kilauea was off-limits to visitors Friday for fear the volcano will blow its top in the coming days and hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air.

Active eruption of lava from fissures some 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) east of the summit has paused.

The more than 1,700 people who live in that area were ordered to evacuate a week ago, when the lava emerged. Later that evening, the thirteenth and fourteenth fissures, or vents, opened on the Kilauea volcano.

Wes Thelen, HVO seismic network manager, said that suggests an increased likelihood of a fissure erupting downrift from Leilani, though geologists can't predict when that could occur. This was followed by an natural disaster that caused lava to be pushed into new underground areas and led it to break through the ground near a residential area. Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation to secure the area. Distant communities such as Hilo, about 30 miles away, could get a dusting of ash.

Pentane is a flammable liquid similar to lighter fluid, or butane.

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He said if when an eruption occurs in Auckland, they would expect to see lava flows running down roads and through sub-divisions.

The Puna Geothermal Venture is owned by Nevada company Ormat Technologies. And with new fissures are opening closer to the edge of the plant, residents are getting even more anxious.

Further down the volcano, the underground lava, oozing through cracks in the neighborhood of Leilani Estates is only about a half-mile away from a geothermal power plant. Some two dozen homes have burned.

Visitors take pictures as Kilauea's summit crater glows red in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Everyone has been looking at Kilauea volcano's lava flows. The result was an explosion at 8:29 a.m. local time on May 10 that sent a plume of rocks and ash up a thousand feet above the volcano for about one hour. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory website has a wonderful summary of the 1924 explosions, including magnificent historic photos.

It has now been a week since the eruption began, the emotional toll wearing residents down.

Scientists at the US Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory worry that if the lava lake drops too far, groundwater will seep into the conduit - the plumbing in this vast, interconnected system - between the summit and the East Rift Zone.

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