Hawaii: Kilauea volcano erupts again, spews ash up to 12,000 feet


In this Saturday, May 26, 2018 image from video released by the U.S. Geological Survey, lava sends up clouds of steam and toxic gases as it enters the Pacific Ocean as Kilauea Volcano continues its eruption cycle near Pahoa on the island of Kilauea, Hawaii. Firefighters also had to lead a man from his home near Kilauea late on Sunday after he was trapped by fast-moving lava, Hawaii News Now reported.

Lava engulfed two wells at a geothermal plant, however, there were no emissions of hydrogen sulphide. Its operator, Israeli-controlled Ormat Technologies, said it had not been able to assess the damage.

It gave no details as to how deep into the Puna Geothermal Venture lava has intruded.

FEMA's David Mace says the lava breached the property overnight and is within 200 metres of one of the capped wells, Nine News reports.

According to CNN, the oozing lava has destroyed a total of 82 structures on Hawaii's big island since the volcano first erupted on May third.

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Contingency plans have been made for a possible helicopter evacuation of up to 1,000 residents in a coastal area south of the fissures should their last exit route be blocked by lava or become unsafe because of gaping cracks, County of Hawaii officials said.

Authorities have shut down the plant, removed 60,000 gallons (230,000 liters) of flammable liquid, and deactivated the wells.

"Any residents remaining in the current affected areas should evacuate now", Hawaii County Civil Defense said in an alert.

Light winds are expected to push volcanic gases westward, increasing the presence of ash and sulfur dioxide downwind of the Kilauea summit, the National Weather Service said on Monday.

Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, entered the fourth week of what may be an unprecedented, simultaneous eruption at its summit crater and along a six-mile (9.7-km) string of fissures 25 miles (40 km) down its east flank.