Molten lava was inching closer to a geothermal power plant site late on Monday evening as workers were rushing to shut down the facility in order to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases, according to ABC News.
Crews were scrambling to cap the final, 11th well at the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, which provides almost 25% of the Big Island's power, as lava crept by from an active fissure only 200 to 300 yards from the nearest well pad, according to county and federal officials.
"County, state, and federal partners have been collaborating closely to monitor the situation and work with PGV to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities," the county said.
The race to secure the site was just the latest challenge facing authorities as they try to cope with one of the largest eruptions in a century from one of the world's most active volcanoes.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the latest explosive eruption occurred at the Kilauea summit just before 6 p.m. local time.