Hawaii volcano reaches ocean, jungles, threatens geothermal plant

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images

Wells are hurriedly plugged at Hawaii power plant under threat of lava flow

The nearby Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, captured a time-lapse glimpse at Kilauea from Monday night into Tuesday morning as the light from the volcano and its almost two-dozen fissures beamed through the clouds. "They are receiving all available support from government agencies and officials to cope with the volcano activity and carry on with their lives as best as possible", Ige said.

The company also says it believes the lava's movement towards the station has halted and if anything, the molten rock now seems to be going in the other direction: the probability of it approaching the plant seems low, Ormat said.

Puna supplies 25% of the Big Island's power, and had been built smack in the rift zone of Kilauea. "This activity has destroyed the former Hawaii Geothermal Project site", it said referring to the warehouse.

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

The plant's wells run 6,000 to 8,000 feet (1,830-2,438 meters) underground to tap into extremely hot water and steam used to run turbines and produce electricity.

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.

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images

Lava destroyed a building near the plant late Monday, bringing the total number of structures overtaken in the past several weeks to almost 50, including dozens of homes.

Ormat said in a May 15 statement that there was a low risk of surface lava making its way to the facility.

Lava erupts from a Kilauea volcano fissure on Hawaii's Big Island, May 22, 2018 in Kapoho, Hawaii. It is responsible for 4.5% of Ormat's total geothermal power production worldwide. Ormat is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and shares have fallen almost 10 percent since Kilauea began erupting. The observatory said in a release that the volcano's fissures were actively expelling lava during the period in which the time-lapse footage was shot. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

It's just the latest hazard from a weeks-old eruption that has so far generated earthquakes and featured gushing molten rock, giant ash plumes and sulfur dioxide.

Nearby, stunning blue flames were seen spouting from cracks in the road, caused by the release of methane as lava burns plants and trees.

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