Hawaii volcano belches new ash plume as geothermal wells secured from harm


Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, shows no sign of quieting down.

Nighttime photos released by the US Geological Survey were taken in the Leilani Estates neighbourhood where the volcano has been sending up lava through vents in the ground.

It then flows beneath the surface before bursting up when it finds an outlet, such as cracks in the ground caused by the recent seismic activity. There has been continuous low-level ash emission from Kilauea's summit with larger explosions every few hours, said U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Mike Poland.

"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", USGS scientist Jim Kauahikaua told the Associated Press.

"During the sequence, multiple fissures expelled lava in the area in and around Leilani Estates in the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii", the Gemini Observatory said in a statement. 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.

Earlier in the week, approaching lava had come within hair-raising proximity of the Puna Geothermal Venture, an important source of power on the Big Island, spurring officials to warn of the potential release of a deadly gas.

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No, the Mount Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is not affecting weather in Chicago.

Lava from that vent was shooting further into the air and producing the highest lava wall of all the vents, which was blocking molten rock from flowing north toward the plant.

Lava entering the sea at two locations near Pahoa, Hawaii, on May 21, 2018.

Officials said there was no "immediate threat" to the Puna Geothermal Company (PGV) a 38-megawatt plant run by the state of Hawaii. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency also reports flows and ground cracking continue in both Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava. Meanwhile, lava is pouring into the ocean at a location three miles (5 km) east of the plant, producing noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam, and glass-like particles - a phenomenon known as "laze", a portmanteau of lava and haze.

Ige said transportation officials are "also looking at other alternative routes and trying to decide what would make the most sense in terms of providing safe passage".

Despite the epic imagery, Kilauea's recent activity is a blip when compared to its previous episodes since 1983, when the current eruption technically began.