Hawaii volcano sends another ash cloud high into the air

Kilauea Volcano’s Lava Produces Blue Methane Flames

Hawaii volcano sends another ash cloud high into the air

Hawaiian authorities scrambled Tuesday to protect a major power plant from approaching lava, in the latest threat from renewed eruption of the Big Island's Kilauea volcano nearly three weeks ago.

When Noah Friend and Shantel Pacarro returned to their home in Leilani Estates on Hawaii's Big Island this week, the problem wasn't the glowing lava from the Kilauea volcano that has threatened the region - it was large cracks in the ground, running right beneath their house.

The gas is still spewing from cracks in the earth's surface after the Kilauea volcano's massive eruption 19 days ago.

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

Since the start of the eruption, lava flows have forced evacuations, closed a geothermal plant that supplies 25 percent of the island's power and created a noxious plume of "laze" when it began flowing into the ocean.

Tam Hunt took photos Monday of his neighbor's house, showing the ominous cracks splitting the ground under the home.

The occurrence of new lava vents, now numbering about two dozen, have been accompanied by flurries of earthquakes and periodic eruptions of ash, volcanic rock and toxic gases from the volcano's summit crater.

Officials say almost 50 structures, including dozens of houses, have been destroyed since fissures began opening up in backyards on May 3.

"The Puna Geothermal Venture had always been contentious on the island, the Associated Press reported, with some native Hawaiians saying that it desecrated Kilauea, where the goddess of fire, Pele, is said to live". "The lava also flowed into the ocean during the period of the video".

Hawaii volcano sends another ash cloud high into the air

The threat of lava from fissures in the East Rift Zone on Hawaii's Big Island near Kilauea have forced almost 2,000 people - including from Leilani Estates - to leave since eruptions began almost three weeks ago.

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.

Lava from an active fissure nearby had flowed onto the property early this week, posing the risk of toxic gases being released in the event the molten rock encroached into any of three pressurized deep-underground wells.

While one man almost lost his leg to flying lava splatter, no one has died yet in connection to the volcanic activity.

The ash, vog and the lava haze - laze - produced at the coastline represent breathing hazards for anyone unlucky enough to be standing downwind, which you can track via these vog forecasts.

Residents down rift of the lava flows should be prepared to voluntarily evacuate at a moment's notice.

Scientists said Tuesday that lava from the volcano was causing "fireworks-like explosions" as it entered the ocean.

Authorities in Hawaii have warned of unsafe "laze" fumes as molten lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano reached the Pacific Ocean.

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