Lava Engulfs Hawaii Geothermal Power Plant, Posing Unprecedented Threat

Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has overrun a central well at a geothermal power station and made its way toward a second, leaving residents facing an unprecedented threat. With lava now reported to be spread across 40 acres of the site, residents fear an explosion could send deadly hydrogen sulfide into the air. The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency has issued assurances that the wells are “stable and secure,” and Hawaii Gov. David Ige says the site is “sufficiently safe” despite the streams of lava. More than 50,000 gallons of hazardous gas were removed from the site this month as a precaution, and special caps were placed on the wells in a bid to protect the area from being penetrated by lava. But the head of the state’s emergency management agency has warned that the situation is unprecedented, as lava has never engulfed a geothermal power plant anywhere else in the world.