TNB has been covering the Kilauea eruption (5/5) & (5/17). The situation hasn’t improved.
Over the last few days, some notable events have occurred. They include:
The volcanic eruption has continued, causing new lava flows in the area and triggering concerns about jungle fires. (Reuters)
Darryl Clinton was protecting homes – his and those of his neighbors – from “lava bombs”. Those are large chunks of lava which have been ejected during volcanic eruptions, usually about a foot or so in diameter. If Clinton saw one land on his or his neighbors’ property, he would go with hose and/or fire extinguisher to cool the mass off before it could trigger a conflagration.
That’s what he did until one struck him and shattered his leg. From CNN:
“‘That didn’t just happen’ was my first thought,” he said Tuesday. “I knew it was real because of the pain. Then I got caught on fire, fell on the floor, grabbed my foot and leg and held ’em together,” he said.
His ex-wife Lisa Roach was nearby and took him to the hospital. Clinton is currently in the hospital, recovering. Roach said he can already wiggle his toes, but won’t be able to put weight on his injured foot for at least six weeks.
Also, the lava reached the ocean, generating laze. The state of Hawaii has issued alerts about it. Laze is a mixture of steam, minute shards of airborne volcanic glass, and hydrochloric acid. So far most of it has drifted out over the ocean, but it remains a constant threat and has limited lanes of sea travel. Additional oceanfront dangers are being presented by the lava as the rapid cooling that the molten rock experiences as it transfers its heat to the ocean has resulted in rock explosions, sending shrapnel flying at high velocities from the point of intersection.
The sea travel limitation is important because new lava flow has further limited the evacuation paths available for residents and workers in the affected areas of Big Island. (ABC) Highway 137, a key route, has now been cut off from use.
Most recently, a geothermal plant which supplies a quarter of Big Island’s electric power has come under threat from the lava flow. Workers have removed all of the flammable fluids from the location, but damage to the plant is of great concern both for the long-term power needs of the island and for the cost of repairs. (Gizmodo)