21:06 GMT +320 May 2018
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    In this still frame taken from video, lava flows toward a home in the Puna District as a result of the eruption from Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, Friday, May 4, 2018

    Hawaii Authorities Try to Mitigate Threat Lava Poses to Energy Infrastructure

    © AP Photo / Byron Matthews
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    BIG ISLAND (Hawaii) (Sputnik) – A geothermal power plant on Hawaii’s Big Island is receiving special attention from the US authorities due to the danger of potential well-head blowouts should lava hit the facility, the Hawaii National Guard spokesman told Sputnik.

    “The issues are the wells,” Maj. Jeff Hickman said, adding the authorities “are trying to mitigate the danger.”

    Earlier in the week, Hawaii Governor David Ige assigned a team, which includes Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim as well as the administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, to work on mitigating the risks surrounding the plant.

    The governor also said that if the well heads get destroyed or damaged, some hazardous materials could be released into the air.

    In this photo taken from video an unidentified man gets close to a lava flow advancing down a road in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa on the island of Hawaii Monday, May 7, 2018
    © AP Photo / Scott Wiggers/Apau Hawaii Tours
    Puna Geothermal Venture, the owner and operator of the facility, said on Saturday that that it has shut down the power plant and all geothermal wells following the start of Kilauea volcano’s latest eruption on May 3. In addition to shutting the facility down, PGV removed around 60,000 gallons of pentane, a flammable solvent used in the generation of electricity at the plant, from the site, which is located in Kilauea’s east rift zone.

    The US authorities are preparing mass evacuation of local residents as the 16th fissure has emerged at the volcano on Saturday. The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said on Friday that 15 previous fissures have not produced any lava since May 9.  However, lava previously emitted from those openings has reportedly destroyed 36 structures, including over 20 homes, and covered 117 acres of land.

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    eruption, threat, lava, volcano, United States, Hawaii
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