(BIVN) – Puna Geothermal Venture executed an emergency plan and shut down operations following the sudden eruption of lava in Leilani Estates on Thursday. All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions were required to evacuate.
The Hawai‘i Electric Light Company expects to be able to provide sufficient power, even with geothermal plant shut down.
In a Thursday evening media release, HELCO reported that it has deployed employees to the Leilani Estates area to disconnect power in the areas impacted by the active lava flow.
According to HELCO:
Utility personnel are on scene. Although the areas near Mohala Street are without power due to the lava flow, crews are doing work to reroute power to maintain electric service for the rest of Leilani Estates that is not impacted by the lava. The company expects to have sufficient generation for this evening, despite the emergency shutdown of independent power producer Puna Geothermal Venture. A generation shortfall is not expected.
“We will continue to work closely with Civil Defense to monitor and assess the situation,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawai‘i Electric Light spokeswoman, in the media release. “We strongly encourage the community to be safe and heed the advice of Civil Defense and first responders.”
For customers who are evacuating, the HELCO recommends:
- Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch;
- Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances;
- Call Customer Service at 969-6999 to request a service disconnect or transfer.
HELCO says its free “Handbook for Emergency Preparedness” provides detailed information on preparing your home and ‘ohana for emergency situations. The handbook is available in English, Cantonese, Ilocano, Korean, and Vietnamese and can be found at the company’s business offices, on its website.