Hawaii volcano generates blue flames from burning methane

Workers in Hawaii plugging energy wells as lava flows nearby

Since May 3, over a dozen fissures have opened up along the east rift zone of the Kilauea volcano, destroying almost 50 structures. Now blue has joined the mix: the blue flames of burning methane gas.

However, authorities warned that if there is an underground build-up of the gas which is suddenly ignited, it can cause a powerful explosion, and toss chunks of rock several feet away, potentially injuring anybody it hits. A high cone made by the lava has created a natural wall blocking the flow toward the plant, USGS scientist Wendy Stovall told reporters.

Molten lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has entered the grounds of Puna Geothermal Venture, a geothermal power plant that provides about 25 per cent of the Big Island's power.

Hawaii officials have said they may need to carry out a mass evacuation if lava crosses key highways and isolates communities in the mostly rural part of the island where the Kilauea volcano is erupting. "The lava also flowed into the ocean during the period of the video".

Ross Birch, Hawaii Island Visitor Bureau director, said cruise ships will return to Kona and Hilo in the next few weeks after canceling stops because of the volcano.

The sheer force of the lava bomb was what Darryl Clinton remembered feeling first, more powerful than any waves he had ever encountered in the ocean surrounding Hawaii. The latest eruption happened Tuesday, Hawaii County's civil defense agency said, spewing toxic gas.

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Mercifully, the lava flow stopped at a ridge near the PGV plant, but as the events of the past two weeks have shown, Mount Kilauea is in an extremely volatile state.

Hunt said the property has been in the neighbor's family since 1991 and the couple moved into the home right before they had their two children, but now it seems they'll never be able to call this place home again.

Laze occurs when hot lava meets the ocean, sending a plume of hydrochloric acid and steam, along with fine glass particles, into the air.

The Kilauea volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and steam.

Hawaii's volcano emergency enters its fourth week on Thursday, and there's a possibility of a major eruption at any moment.

At least 44 homes and other structures have been destroyed in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens area of the Puna district, and a man was seriously injured on Saturday (May 19) when a plate-sized chunk of molten rock shot out of a fissure and struck him on the leg.

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