Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Threatens Crucial Israeli-Owned Power Plant

The view from behind CNN's Lava Cam

The view from behind CNN's Lava Cam

The latest update from the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that a "moderate-level eruption" of lava was continuing to flow from Kilauea.

The state has pumped cold water into the wells and capped them with iron plugs.

"All wells are stable at this point", said Ige. GLISTIN was created to monitor ice sheets, but it can also detect changes in the Kilauea landscape caused by the outburst, agency officials said.

The Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii is secure, and if lava did encroach on it the danger of a toxic gas release is "very low", authorities said. While one might expect the volcano and lava to produce a red glow, the camera used to shoot the video had its infrared filter removed, causing the glow to appear more white and blue than red.

"Right now, they're in a safe state", Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaii affairs for the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, said of the wells.

The plant harnesses heat and steam from the earth's core to spin turbines to generate power, providing for about 25 percent of the island's daily energy demand.

Almost 50 structures have been destroyed by lava, including dozens of homes.

Eruptions from the volcano began on May 3. Ormat operates other geothermal power plants in the U.S., Kenya, Guadalupe, Guatemala and Honduras.


Puna Geothermal represents about 4.5 percent of Ormat's worldwide generating capacity.

Kaleikini said the gases that could potentially leak from the Puna plant are no different from those coming from active fissures.

On the volcano's east flank, almost two-dozen fissures are producing 15,000 tons a day of toxic sulfur dioxide, a level "much higher than seen in recent times", Bravender said.

Hawaii man Darryl Clinton has told how molten rock almost sheared his leg in half when he was hit over the weekend.

Darryl Clinton told the Honolulu television station KHON that he was on the roof of a home helping to put out fires from flying rocks when an explosion a couple hundred yards away launched a "lava bomb" his way.

Mr Clinton, who was the first person to suffer a major injury at the hands of the eruption, said doctors saved his leg but he must avoid putting weight on it for six weeks.

These were new risks geologists warned of on Tuesday as Kilauea's 19-day eruption showed no sign of easing, with repeated explosions at its summit and fountains of lava up to 160 feet from giant cracks or fissures on its flank.

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