The Latest: Hawaii asks for US help with volcano disaster

(AP) - The Latest on a Hawaii volcano eruption (all times local):

  

2 p.m.

  

Hawaii's governor is asking President Donald Trump to declare the state a disaster because of earthquakes and a volcanic eruption on the Big Island.

  

Gov. David Ige said Thursday the disaster is so severe that direct federal help is needed.

  

State officials estimate it will cost more than $2.9 million to protect residents over the next 30 days. The costs will skyrocket if there needs to be large-scale air and sea evacuations.

  

Two subdivisions were ordered to evacuate last week after lava oozed from cracks in the ground, burning down some two dozen homes.

  

Ige says there's potential for a larger-scale evacuation as more fissures open. He says mass evacuation would be beyond county and state capabilities.

  

___

  

12:30 p.m.

  

Officials say they aren't expecting a possible explosive volcano eruption to be life-threatening as long as people stay out of a surrounding Hawaii national park that's preparing to close.

  

Scientists worry Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater.

  

No one lives in the immediate area of the summit. It's within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which plans to close Thursday night.

  

Hawaii Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal says communities a mile or two away may be showered by pea-sized fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash.

  

Active eruption of lava from fissures some 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) east of the summit has paused. However, earthquakes continue and additional fissure outbreaks are expected.

  

Authorities ordered two subdivisions in the area to evacuate last week.

  

Workers have removed flammable pentane from a nearby geothermal plant.

  

___

  

11 a.m.

  

Flammable pentane has been moved out of a Hawaii geothermal plant that's near communities where lava has oozed from cracks in the ground.

  

Plant manager Mike Kaleikini said Thursday that all the fuel was moved off-site to a secure location.

  

Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe says the pentane was moved to an industrial park some 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the Puna Geothermal Venture.

  

The pant sits on the edge of Leilani Estates, one of the areas where nearly 2,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as Kilauea spewed lava. And with new fissures opening closer to the edge of the plant, residents are getting even more worried.

  

Scientists say active eruption of lava within the Leilani Estates remains paused. However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area are expected.

  

___

  

10:15 a.m.

  

Authorities have accelerated the timeline for moving flammable pentane from a Hawaii geothermal plant that's near communities where lava has oozed from cracks in the ground.

  

Workers are moving the fuel to an industrial park about 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) away. All 50,000 gallons (189,270 liters) of pentane was expected to be removed by the end of Thursday.

  

Pentane is a flammable liquid similar to lighter fluid, or butane.

  

Officials said earlier this week they had planned to move the pentane over the next few weeks but accelerated the effort because of the ongoing lava threat.

  

The Puna Geothermal Venture is owned by Nevada company Ormat Technologies.

  

It sits on the edge of Leilani Estates, one of the areas where nearly 2,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as Kilauea continues to spew lava. And with new fissures are opening closer to the edge of the plant, residents are getting even more worried.

  

___

  

8:20 a.m.

  

Workers are moving flammable fuel from a geothermal plant that's near a Hawaii community where lava has oozed out of cracks in the ground.

  

Hawaii County officials say pentane is being moved from Puna Geothermal Venture to an offsite industrial park away from the neighborhoods where lava fissures have emerged.

  

Scientists say activity from the most recent lava fissure that opened up has paused but dangerous fumes continue to be released.

  

County officials say as of Thursday 15 fissures have emerged. Some two dozen homes have burned.

  

There is also concern that Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater.

  

Scientists say the explosive eruption could occur even as the volcano continues to splatter and ooze lava out of its eastern flank into a residential area.

  

Two subdivisions were evacuated last week after lava oozed out of the fissures.

  

___

  

12 a.m.

  

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater. That kind of explosive eruption was last displayed by the volcano nearly a century ago.

  

This eruption could occur even the volcano continues to splatter and ooze lava out of its eastern flank into a residential area.

  

Scientists said Wednesday the risks of an explosive summit eruption will rise in coming weeks as magma drains down the flank of the volcano.

  

Hawaii Gov. David Ige says a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak would remove its storage of a flammable gas called pentane by the end of the day Thursday.

  

He says it would be "very hazardous" if a volcanic vent were to open under the facility where the fuel is stored.

  

___

  

This version corrects that the material being moved from the plant is pentane, not pentene, and is in liquid, not gas form.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

5/10/2018 5:01:43 PM (GMT -7:00)

Recommended for you