New technology saves one man from lava, while another man drives his truck into a hardened flow.
The last time we visited the erupting Hawaiian volcano, Kilauea, the lava from the steadily erupting volcano was oozing over wells at the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant.
Now, that lava has destroyed two of the plant’s buildings.
Lava has burned down two buildings at a geothermal plant near Hawaii’s erupting Kilauea volcano.
A substation and adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig at the Puna Geothermal Venture were covered by lava on Wednesday, according to a Thursday statement from Ormat Technologies, the Nevada company that owns the plant.
This particular eruption cycle has heated up, with the lava oozing from Kilauea getting hotter and more fluid since its initial eruption in early May.
Lava bubbling to the surface on Hawaii’s Big Island is the hottest and most fluid it’s been since Kilauea erupted four weeks ago — measuring at least 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit with no upper limit in sight, a volcanologist with the USGS warned Thursday.
Wendy Stovall with the U.S. Geological Survey told reporters that the actual temperature is likely even higher.
“It’s hard to get to the center, which is the hottest portion of the fountain,” Stovall said.
The more fluid the lava, the faster and farther it can spread. Therefore, Hawaiian officials are issuing mandatory evacuations of nearby areas, and indicate they have no plans to rescue those foolish enough to stay behind, as it is clear that the volcano is not likely to stop erupting soon.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued Thursday night for a portion of the Leilani Estates subdivision as “vigorous lava eruptions” threaten more homes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.
Residents have been advised to evacuate by noon Friday. Emergency responders have no plans to rescue anyone from the evacuated areas past the deadline, the agency said.
“They are being asked to leave. Period,” county spokeswoman Janet Snyder told reporters.
Those in Kapoho — including Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland — also were ordered out due to the risk of getting trapped by the lava.
Fortunately for one Hawaiian, the officials were still conducting rescue operations earlier this week.
A drone and a cellphone flashlight helped first responders rescue a Hawaii man trapped in his home by a fast-moving lava flow from the erupting Kilauea volcano.
On the evening of May 27, United States Geological Survey scientists deployed a drone to survey a new outbreak of lava on Luana Street in the lava-besieged Leilani Estates subdivision, where destroyed dozens of homes have been destroyed [sic] since the Kilauea eruption began in early May.
As they were preparing to fly, the team received word that a man had become trapped nearby. The team, which had been coordinating with local emergency officials, flew the drone to the vicinity of the man’s home, and first responders instructed him to follow the drone to safety.
Another example of real science saving man!
One man decided to tempt fate and ignore police commands not to drive through a lava-impacted area.
Police say they have arrested a 55-year-old man after he went past a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into hardened lava on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Police say in a statement that the man demanded passage through the checkpoint but was instructed by police to turn around Thursday night. The statement doesn’t say how the man got past officers. About an hour later, a resident brought him back to the checkpoint with injuries to his head and face. The man told police he had smashed his truck into lava.
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