More evacuations as volcanic activity intensifies in Hawaii
Jeff Paul has the latest on the volcanic activity affecting Hawaii’s Big Island.
A new lava spewing out of a gap caused by the Hawaii Kilauea volcano crossed on the geothermal installation and continued her slow advance as officials ensure that the molten rock can block more escape routes, trapping residents in a number of nearby areas on the Big Island.
Lava fissure 21 crossed at the Puna Geothermal Venture, known as PGV, and continued advancing east on the property, USGS reported. The current remained the “slow advance eastward early Sunday morning, but “have not moved significantly closed to Kapoho Road.”
Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the lava from the cracks caused by Kilauea volcano, in the vicinity of Puna Geothermal Venture, a geothermal power plant.
Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said: there is no direct lava threat for the geothermal installation.
GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT IN HAWAII VOLCANOES VISOR BELIEVED BY SOME TO BE ON HOLY GROUND
Residents are concerned about the lava burst wells at the plant, causing deadly hydrogen sulfide and other gases to be emitted, Reuters reported. Authorities have already shut down the plant and removed of 60,000 litres of flammable liquid at the start of the volcanic activity. The wells were also turned off.
At least 82 structures including dozens of houses have been destroyed since the eruption of the volcano began three weeks ago. About 2,000 people have fled their homes as lava affected areas.
Kilauea volcano eruption of about three weeks.
The authorities are concerned about the lava cutting off escape routes on the Big Island. Highway 137 was shut down after lava flows crossed the road and entered the ocean, creating a deadly plume of gas called lazy. Highway 130 is now the only way in and out of the cities, such as Kalapana, Kaimu, Kehena and Opihikao, Hawaii News Now reported.
HAWAII VOLCANO REPORTEDLY APPROACHING GEOTHERMAL INSTALLATION PROPERTY
The highway, however it is also a risk of shutting down. The officials lined the road with heat-resistant sheets after large cracks began to appear.
“Although the steel plates have a bit heated in the areas of Highway 130, the steel plates are heat resistant and are still safe,” Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Hawaii Transportation Department, said. “No problems have been reported or in connection with the plates.”
Lava can also start with the approach of the Highway 132.
As the lava flows cut off from the highways, officials may resort to the air evacuations to get to residents trapped in the area.
“Our tasking is, in essence, to 400 people within four hours of the freshest most LZ [landing zone] south-up to Hilo to be evacuated,” Marine Maj. David Bachta said.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam