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Hawaii street swallowed by 'lava tide' as many more homes burn

Hawaii street swallowed by 'lava tide' as many more homes burn

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has reached the island's Puna geothermal power plant on Sunday, covering one well and jeopardizing a second well, according to a report by the County of Hawaii Civil Defense Authority. But he said safety precautions went into effect before the breach.

Meanwhile, lava flows continue to cascade into the ocean in lower Puna, creating large plumes of "laze" - clouds of gas and shards of glass - that could force nearby residents to evacuate at a moment's notice.

PGV officials said the threat of an uncontrolled release of hydrogen sulfide would be mitigated if lava inundates their property and makes contact with their wells. That well, along with a second well 100 feet away, are stable and secured, and are being monitored.

The geothermal plant has been already shut down and 60,000 gallons of flammable liquid at the start of the volcanic activity has been removed.

County officials said there was no release of any risky hydrogen sulfide gas, as some feared might happen if lava breached the well shafts that tap steam and hot water several thousand feet down to make electricity through turbines. Officials have said the power plant is safe but lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world, leaving a measure of uncertainty. They also capped the 11 wells at the property to try to prevent a breach. "Primary concern is sulfur dioxide from the eruption and lava coming on site".

Lava flows from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano can be seen from space, according to imagery from two different space agencies.

Cracks in the highway have yet to emit hydrogen sulfide gas which would indicate magma was rising towards the surface, Stovall said.

Lava-filled fissures have torn apart chunks of the southeastern side of the Big Island over the past three weeks as Kilaeau has become more active.

About 40 kilometers (25 miles) down Kilauea's east flank, lava gushed from six giant cracks, with molten rock from two fissures advancing over another street of homes in the Leilani Estates housing development, the observatory said in a statement. Hawaii News Now reported that the man was eventually guided safely off his property by emergency crews.

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