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The flames are caused by methane, a gas produced when lava buries and burns plants and trees.
“There are many unpredictable things that could happen,” says the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
A naturally occurring berm has so far halted the flow’s advance, but officials warn if the lava does hit the plant’s underground wells it could trigger the release of poisonous gases.
Update: Other residents in a rural area cut off by new flows from the Kilauea volcano to shelter in place.
A volcano expert says there is no way of knowing whether this is really the beginning or toward the end of the Big Island eruption.
Hawaii County officials announced they will begin handing out free masks to prevent people from breathing in ash.
The state is forming a joint task force to handle mass evacuations of the Puna district if lava flows cover major roads and isolates the area.
Civil Beat’s Anthony Quintano talks about his experiences shooting the eruptions and lava flows on Kilauea.
Losses are mounting in the hundreds of millions of dollars as Kilauea pushes molten lava through neighborhoods.
Affordable housing in the fast-growing Puna area comes with a big risk — several communities have been wiped out by earlier lava flows.
Photos from Honolulu Civil Beat’s Anthony Quintano offer a look at the spectacle of lava and steam as new volcanic fissures open up.