Hawaii volcano generates blue flames from burning methane

Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Webcam at 6:06 a.m. Wednesday

Lava flowing from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has claimed another structure, this one close to a geothermal plant.

Hawaii governor David Ige said ten wells were "quenched", which cools them with enough cold water to counter the pressure of volcanic steam coming from below.

Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the warehouse adjacent to the plant was destroyed late Monday night. The building was owned by the state of Hawaii, and was used in geothermal research projects in the early days of the site.

At least 47 homes and other structures have been destroyed by almost two dozen fissures in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, and a man was seriously injured on Saturday by flying lava. Workers were capping the 11th and last well at the plant to prevent toxic gases from wafting out after lava entered, then stalled, on the property near one of the new volcanic vents.

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images
Wells are hurriedly plugged at Hawaii power plant under threat of lava flow

Fissures spew lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii.

Kilauea began erupting lava in a residential neighbourhood on May 3.

Earlier this month officials removed a flammable gas called pentane from the plant to reduce the chance of explosions.

The latest explosive eruption at the Kilauea summit at around 1 a.m. (6 a.m. EST) sent a plume of ash over Hawaii's Big Island, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported in a statement.

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Photographs by astronauts aboard the International Space Station have also helped researchers and responders better understand the outburst, as has data contributed by the European and Japanese space agencies, NASA officials said.

He says that pattern "is about par for the course" right now.

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.

About 3 miles (4.8 km) to the east of the plant on the coast, noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam and fine glasslike particles billowed into the sky as lava poured into the ocean from two lava flows.

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But Kilauea's activity ratcheted up considerably on May 3 after an quake rattled the region; lava began spilling from newly created fissures and spreading through neighborhoods, turning parts of the Big Island into disaster zones.

The molten rock started pouring into the sea over the weekend.

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