Lava flow enters Hawaii geothermal plant property

Pahoehoe lava advancing west from fissure 7 on Leilani Avenue

Pahoehoe lava advancing west from fissure 7 on Leilani Avenue

"It's this tide of lava that rises up and overflows itself on the edges and keeps rising and progressing forward", U.S. Geological Survey geologist Wendy Stovall told journalists on a conference call.

"Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible".

Authorities expect that number to increase as eruptions continue on Kilauea's lower east rift zone. "Trade winds are expected to diminish Sunday evening, which could expand the area impacted by vog", it said in a statement.

Steve Brantley of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow seemed to have halted Sunday morning before it picked back up and covered the well at the plant, which lies on the southeast flank of the volcano, nestled between residential neighborhoods. "Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high".

Massiva lava fountains shoot out from active fissures along Kilauea's east rift zone in lower Puna
Massiva lava fountains shoot out from active fissures along Kilauea's east rift zone in lower Puna

The plant's spokesman Mike Kaleikini was quoted as saying that no release of hydrogen sulfide had been detected on the site so far, which is the biggest concern if lava were to hit the geothermal wells. "That well, along with a second well 100 feet away, are stable and secured, and are being monitored", emergency officials said in a 6 p.m. statement.

"The flow from fissures 21 and 7 was widening and advancing", Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the County of Hawaii, said on the position of lava heading northeast towards PGV. He said there was no indication of the release of the poisonous gas hydrogen sulfide, the greatest fear should lava hit the wells.

PGV usually provides about 25 percent of power in the Big Island, where Kilauea volcano started erupting over three weeks ago and has forced thousands people's evacuation, but the plant was taken offline after the first eruption of Kilauea.

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