Published: Thu, May 24, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Blue flames join the lava light show on Hawaii during Kilauea eruption

Blue flames join the lava light show on Hawaii during Kilauea eruption

Nighttime photos released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey show the flames spouting from road cracks in the Leilani Estates neighborhood where the volcano has been sending up lava through vents in the ground. "The air quality has been so bad that everybody has been walking around with a (dust) mask".

Still, tourism officials have noted that much of the Big Island is unaffected by Kilauea's latest lava flows and that lava flows are a normal occurrence at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The remarkable footage was taken May 22 in the vicinity of the Puna Geothermal Venture, a plant that brings steam to the surface by way of several underground wells.

"Residents in the affected area should be prepared to take leave of the area with little notice due to gas or lava inundation", the civil defence bulletin warned.

On Monday, lava entered and then stalled on the property of a geothermal plant near one of Kilauea's new volcanic vents.

Ten wells were "quenched", which cools them with cold water, and the last was plugged with mud.

Kilauea volcano fissure on Hawaiis Big Island
Mario Tama Getty Images Lava erupts from a Kilauea volcano fissure on Hawaii's Big Island

The facility also received a respite from Mother Nature.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and sulphur dioxide emissions through a series of fissures, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost non-stop for 35 years.

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 several hundred yards away launched a "lava bomb" that hit him above the ankle. Laze, a word combination of lava and haze, contains hydrochloric acid steam along with volcanic glass particles. Since the volcano began erupting in early May, it's destroyed dozens of homes and other structures and send thousands of evacuees packing. The caustic plume, which can be fatal if inhaled, is the latest hazard in an eruption that shows no signs of stopping.

This gas flows through the ground and up through existing cracks, posing an extreme danger to anyone standing nearby.

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