Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii rains down drama, destruction

Darryl Clinton has become the first person to be seriously injured since Hawaii's Kilauea volcano started spewing hot lava nearly three weeks ago

Before the Leilani Estates eruption, the volcano's summit had been releasing an average of 3,000 to 6,000 tons of sulfur dioxide each day.

Scientists say the methane can seep through cracks several feet away from the lava.

The occurrence of new lava vents, now numbering about two dozen, have been accompanied by flurries of earthquakes and periodic eruptions of ash, volcanic rock and toxic gases from the volcano's summit crater.

Ormat is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and shares have fallen almost 10 percent since Kilauea began erupting.

The plant's owner, Ormat Industries, sent a soothing message to investors just a week ago, but now the lava has arrived.

Hawaii County Civil Defense's latest alert said that authorities were monitoring the situation at Puna Geothermal Venture.

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

The 57-year-old California native was watching the lava flow from a third floor porch when an explosion sent a lava bomb his way- nearly severing his left leg
Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii rains down drama, destruction

Underscoring the eruption's dangers, a Hawaii man was hit by a flying piece of lava over the weekend said the molten rock almost sheared his leg in half. A metal cap has been added on top as an additional measure.

The Puna district's geothermal plant has been closed since shortly after lava began erupting on May 3 through newly opened fissures in the ground running through neighborhoods and roads in an area near the community of Pahoa.

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.

A flammable gas called pentane is used as part of the process, though officials earlier this month removed 190,000 litres of the gas from the plant to reduce the chance of explosions. It hit him above the ankle.

Lava from the eruption on the Big Island is primarily flowing south toward the ocean. Doctors saved his leg, but he must avoid putting weight on it for six weeks. Laze, a word combination of lava and haze, contains hydrochloric acid steam along with volcanic glass particles.

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.

Geologists say Kilauea has since entered a more violent phase, in which larger volumes of molten rock are oozing from the ground and traveling farther than before.

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