Lava still flowing in Hawaii

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Officials have said the power plant is safe but lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world, creating a measure of uncertainty. Since then, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava continues to flow, consuming everything in its path.

Volcanic haze from Kilauea, where fallout from a massive eruption keeps threatening residents, has stretched across the Pacific and threatens residents of the Mariana Islands.

Ten more homes in the path of Hawaii's Kileaua volcano eruption have been destroyed overnight by fast-moving lava, a spokesperson for the Hawaii County Civil Defense told ABC News.

Those in Kapoho - including Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland - also were ordered out due to the risk of getting trapped by the lava.

But the total number of evacuees was estimated to have risen to about 2,500 after authorities ushered residents from the nearby Kapoho area as a precaution on Wednesday, as a lava flow threatened to cut off a key access road. Around 2,000 residents have already abandoned their homes as a result of the eruption, which has destroyed 71 houses so far.

On Wednesday, Fissure 8 fueled a river of lava that traveled nearly a half-mile in 80 minutes, according to the Civil Defense Agency.

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The US Geological Survey said the lava from the Kilauea volcano has covered an area of 5.5 square miles - that's four times as big as New York's Central Park.

In addition to volcanic particles that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, residents were warned to be on the lookout for sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers known as "Pele's hair", a reference to the Hawaiian goddess of fire.

Some feared a breach if lava penetrated the well shafts that tap steam and hot water to make electricity.

"The lava continues to flow and may reach other wells and areas of the Puna facility", Ormat said in a statement on Monday. Lava flows also have knocked out power and telephone lines in the region, disrupting communications.

After weeks of scientific updates on the volcano, the U.S. Geological Survey took a lighter tone as it responded to a question on Twitter about whether it would be safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents.

There were several small earthquakes at Kilauea's summit Wednesday, where the vent inside the volcano's Halemaumau Crater has grown along with a series of explosive eruptions that have sent rock and ash thousands of feet into the sky. If the cracks on Highway 130 would become larger or lava flows would cut off this road, the Chain of Craters Road would be the evacuation road for around 1000 people living in Kalapana southwest of the now active fissure system.

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