UPDATE (6 p.m.) – The lava flow from Fissures 7 and 21 crossed into Puna Geothermal Venture property overnight and has now covered one well that was successfully plugged, civil defense says. “That well, along with a second well 100 feet away, are stable and secured, and are being monitored,” emergency officials said in a 6 p.m. statement. “Also due to preventative measures, neither well is expected to release any hydrogen sulfide.”
Civil Defense provided the following additional information:
- The special task force headed by Tom Travis continues to work to make the wells safe and to prevent any threats to the public from developing.
- There is no hydrogen sulfide detected despite the covering of the one well.
- The public will be kept informed of the situation.
(BIVN) – State officials, including Governor David Ige, are projecting confidence in the mitigation measures undertaken to fortify Puna Geothermal Venture wells in the face of an approaching lava flow.
After many tense days situated at the edge of voluminous volcanic fissures that sent lava mostly in the opposite direction, the geothermal plant is now expected to come into contact with another lobe of lava that advanced onto PGV property overnight, after crossing Pohoiki Road on Saturday.
Governor David Ige, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Tom Travis, and PGV representative Mike Kaleikini spent a half hour with the media outside the Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo at 3 p.m. Sunday, trying to reassure the public that everything will be OK, even as the lava crawled to within mere feet of meeting the first geothermal well pad.
“The Puna Geothermal Venture site is stable,” said Governor Ige. “We believe that we have mitigated any risk to the community.”
The plant is safe because of “the actions that we have taken to quench the wells, to plug the wells, to make sure that we can control any release of hydrogen sulfide,” the governor said. “We do expect [lava] to be on the site and to a few of the wells within the next several hours.”