Lava from Hawaii’s erupting Kilauea volcano on Sunday covered a potentially explosive well at a geothermal power station and threatened another, after flowing onto the site, officials said.
The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said the wells “are stable and secure,” and Hawaii Governor David Ige said that the plant was “sufficiently safe” from the lava that has plowed through backyards and streets and burned dozens of homes.
But lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world and the potential threat is untested, according to the head of the state’s emergency management agency. Local residents fear an explosive emission of deadly hydrogen sulfide and other gases should wells be ruptured.
The molten rock was expected to continue to flow across the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) facility, according to the US Geological Survey.
Since Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began a once-in-a-century-scale eruption on May 3, authorities have shutdown…