An observatory has captured a dramatic timelapse video of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano.
The volcano began erupting with lava, ash and toxic gas more than three weeks ago and has so far forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 people.
A timelapse video caught by the Gemini Observatory shows the volcano’s dramatic glow overnight from May 21 to 22, depicting what it describes as: “the glow from an extensive region of fissures over the course of a single night”.
A lava flow from the volcano has already destroyed nearly 50 buildings, including dozens of homes, and is now dangerously close to a geothermal plant on the island.
Production wells at the Puna Geothermal plant, which harnesses heat and steam from the earth’s core to spin turbines to generate power, have been plugged to prevent toxic gases from seeping out.
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Hawaii governor David Ige said ten wells were “quenched”, which cools them with enough cold water to counter the pressure of volcanic steam coming from below.
“All wells are stable at this point,” he said.
Officials are also monitoring various gases that may leak into the atmosphere but Hawaii County civil defence administrator Talmadge Magno said a spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation.
Kilauea’s summit is now belching 15,000 tons (13,607 metric tons) of the gas each day, up from 6,000 tons (5,443 metric tons) daily prior to the May 3 eruption.
Scientists say lava from Kilauea is causing explosions as it enters the ocean, which can look like fireworks.
Hawaii man Darryl Clinton has told how molten rock nearly sheared his leg in half when he was hit over the weekend.
He told the Honolulu television station KHON that he was on the roof of a home helping to put out fires from flying rocks when an explosion a few hundred yards away launched a “lava bomb” his way.
Mr Clinton, who was the first person to suffer a major injury at the hands of the eruption, said doctors saved his leg but he must avoid putting weight on it for six weeks.
Top Video: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF via Storyful