The last time we visited the erupting Hawaiian volcano, Kilauea, the lava from the steadily erupting volcano was threatening the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant.
Nearly one week later, the molten mixture has seeped over one of the plant’s wells.

Lava from the Kilauea volcano covered at least one well Sunday at a geothermal power plant on the Big Island, according to a Hawaii County Civil Defense report. The well was successfully plugged in anticipation of the lava flow, and a second well 100 feet away has also been secured, according to the report. The plugs protect against the release of gas that could turn toxic when mixed with lava.

The lava breached the property overnight. David Mace, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the flow started about 200 yards away from the nearest well. But he said safety precautions went into effect before the breach.

“I think it’s safe to say authorities have been concerned about the flow of lava onto the plant property since the eruption started,” he said.

The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said all the wells remained “stable and secure” in a statement released Sunday night.

A fast-moving lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has forced more evacuations.

Hawaii County Civil Defense on Sunday issued an emergency alert calling for immediate evacuations of sections of the Leilani Estates community.

The agency said the evacuations were due to activity from fissure 7, one of 24 cracks in the ground that have opened in the island’s East Rift Zone since the start of the month. The fissure produced a large spatter rampart more than 100 feet tall from fountains reaching 150 to 200 feet, the US Geological Survey said Sunday.

Lava continued to creep across a road in Leilani Estates on Monday at a rate of 13 feet per hour, USGS Volcanoes said. The agency shared pictures of the steaming black piles, noting that methane bursts were audible in the surrounding woods.

The U.S. military stands ready to assist with further evacuations, if necessary:

Two U.S. Marine Corps helicopters are stationed in nearby Hilo Monday in case they are needed for an emergency evacuation.

“What we want people to know is if it’s coming, evacuate now. Don’t let us have to air-evacuate you out unless it is an absolute emergency,” Maj. Jeff Hickman, spokesman for the Hawaii National Guard, told Stars and Stripes. “Please evacuate so you don’t put first responders at risk.”

Hickman said that active duty military personnel could be called on to assist beyond Monday if the situation continues to look threatening to local residents.


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