Published: Thu, May 24, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Hawaii volcano overwhelms neighborhood with river of molten misery

Hawaii volcano overwhelms neighborhood with river of molten misery

Clinton was hit by a flaming ball of literal lava from Hawaii's Kilauea (of Golfers Not Caring fame) Saturday and lived to tell the tale to Anderson Cooper - in surprisingly pedestrian fashion.

This photo from video from the U.S. Geological Survey shows blue burning flames of methane gas erupting through cracks on Kahukai Street in the Leilani Estates neighborhood of Pahoa on the island of Hawaii during the overnight hours of Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and sulphur dioxide emissions through a series of fissures, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost non-stop for 35 years.

The volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and steam.

Scientists in Hawaii have captured rare images of blue methane flames burning from cracks in the pavement as Kilauea volcano gushes lava in the background.

Ten wells were "quenched", which cools them with cold water, and the last was plugged with mud. A metal cap has been added on top as an additional measure.

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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.

Earlier this month officials removed a flammable gas called pentane from the plant to reduce the chance of explosions.

The plant has capacity to produce 38 megawatts of electricity, providing roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy demand.

A spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. 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. Officials, however, have not discussed specific scenarios that would lead to such an emergency.

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

The occurrence of new lava vents, now numbering about two dozen, have been accompanied by earthquakes and periodic eruptions from the summit crater. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

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