Lava has destroyed 50 buildings, including about two dozen homes. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency also reports flows and ground cracking continue in both Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. The building was owned by the state of Hawaii, and was used in geothermal research projects in the early days of the site.
Puna Geothermal, owned by Nevada's Ormat Technologies, was shut down shortly after Kilauea began spewing lava on May 3. The PGV came online in 1989 amid controversy over its location on what some residents say is sacred land. Goddess of fire, Pele, is believed to live on Kilauea volcano, and the plant itself is thought to desecrate her name. But in some places in the U.S.
Volcanic gas emissions remain high from the fissure eruptions.
Geologists said lava from fissures 6, 13 and 22 was flowing into the ocean at three points Thursday.
"The additional helicopter support from USPACOM and MARFORPAC provides the County of Hawaii and Hawaii's Joint Task Force-50 tremendous capability", said JTF 5-0 commander Brig. Ormat is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and shares have fallen almost 10 percent since Kilauea began erupting. Gas levels are being monitored closely, and any abnormal spike in such levels could potentially prompt a mass evacuation due to potential meltdown conditions being reached at the plant.
Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall says the methane can cause explosions when it's ignited while trapped underground.
Up at Kilauea's 4,091-foot (1,246-meter) summit, at least 12 explosions a day on average are pumping ash plumes thousands of feet (meters) into the sky.
The volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulphur dioxide and steam.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said the lava eruption continued Thursday in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens from fissure 22, which was feeding the two other ocean entries. A friend wrapped a sheet around his leg and called for help.
"One of the first things emergency responders wanted to know was where the lava was coming out, where are all the fissures", J. Carver Struve, emergency management co-lead at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.
U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jim Kauahikaua (COW-ah-hee-COW-ah) told reporters it's just the second time he's ever seen blue flames during an eruption. And right now, it's all a lava lake.
Officials have also warned residents tobeware of "laze", or lava haze, a toxic gas containing tiny shards of glass which is produced when lava flows collide with the sea.
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