Hawaii volcano overwhelms neighborhood with river of molten misery

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Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has entered the ocean from a third flow as molten rock continues to destroy everything in its path.

The U.S. Geological Survey released video footage that shows blue flames sprouting up from beneath the cracks in the ground.

"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows".

"The methane gas will flow through the ground, through the cracks that are already existing, and will come up wherever there's a place for them to come up", said Wendy Stovall, a scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

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

Lava destroyed a building near the plant, bringing the total number of structures overtaken in the past several weeks to almost 50, including dozens of homes.

Clinton was seriously hurt over the weekend by the lava bomb and had nearly his entire leg shattered - from his shin to his foot, according to officials.

Laze itself is not enough to cause serious burns, Babb said, unless someone is right on top of where lava enters the ocean.

Creeping Lava Now Threatens Major Hawaiian Power Plant

The Kilauea volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks. Laze plumes travel with the wind and can shift directions without warning, the county civil defense agency said. Scientists say it can trigger explosions if ignited while trapped underground. Historic reports and geologic remnants suggest the locals were overwhelmed by a pyroclastic blast - a surging mass of gas and volcanic rock.

This was just the second time Kauahikaua has seen the blue flames during a volcanic eruption, he also told the AP.

On Tuesday, officials finished stabilizing wells that bring up hot liquid and steam to feed a turbine generator.

The movement of that river of the lava means there is only one ground evacuation route available for an estimated 1,000 residents who are still in homes scattered across thousands of acres of rural land in the Kalapana area, including Opihikao, Black Sand Beach subdivision, Kalapana Seaview Estates, Puna Beach Palisades and Kahena. Workers are rushing to shut down the power plant to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases from the site.

There's no indication about whether lava volume will increase or decrease, she said.

Ross Birch, Hawaii Island Visitor Bureau director, said cruise ships will return to Kona and Hilo in the next few weeks after canceling stops because of the volcano.

Tourism authorities say summer bookings for hotels and tours on the Big Island have fallen nearly 50% for the months of May through July, and according to the National Park Service, the closure of the National Park alone costs the island $166m.

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