9-magnitude natural disaster strikes Hawaii near recently erupted Kīlauea volcano

The USGS said earlier the eruption of the volcano, one of five on the island, followed a series of earthquakes over the past week. Neighborhoods downhill from the vents were at risk of being covered up.

About 1,700 people in the Leilani Estates area are under the evacuation order, according to Cindy McMillan, the governor's spokeswoman. Both were located on the south flank at Kilauea. On Thursday, she shot video of the lava as it bubbled and splattered across a street about six blocks from her house.

Resident Julie Woolsey told the AP she released her chickens, put her dogs in her vehicle and evacuated with her daughter and grandson on Thursday.

Stenbeck also says she smelled sulfur dioxide gas from the eruption. There have been no reports of injuries or deaths.

He says residents are stressed out about earthquakes while coping with a lava threat from Kilauea volcano that has burned two homes.

A state of emergency was issued by the County of Hawaii's acting mayor, and Gov. David Ige, D, issued an emergency proclamation and activated Hawaii's National Guard to help with evacuations.

In the days leading up to the eruption, new cracks in the ground appeared on paved roadways near the Leilani subdivision.

Civil defense officials warned residents near Kilauea that "extremely high levels of unsafe sulfur dioxide gas", which can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, had been detected in the air.

"We all have to understand how traumatic it is for the people being affected", he said. Shelters are open at the Pahoa and Keaau community centers.

They are warning people from those areas that it's very important for elderly and young people and those with respiratory problems to leave immediately. The gas can cause skin irritations and breathing difficulties.

At least two homes were damaged on Friday by lava on Hawaii's Big Island after a volcano eruption that forced hundreds of residents to flee and prompted warnings over toxic fumes spewing from the crater.

Kilauea has erupted periodically for decades, and scientists said they have no way of predicting how long the eruption will continue.

Hawaii County Civil Defense is urging residents in the Puna community, home to about 10,000 residents, to get out now. But most of the park remains open, the park said in a statement.

Lava and steam burst through paved streets, fire tore through a nearby forest and, as a pink cloud of molten ash rose from the crater of a Hawaiian volcano 20 miles away, nearly 2,000 people fled their homes. They feared they might lose the house. Seven more people were staying at another shelter.

- A series of earthquakes hit Hawaii's Big Island, where a volcano is spewing lava, on Friday.

The eruption in 1960 that eventually wiped out the town of Kapoho started differently than Thursday's eruption - the ground cracks in Kapoho were much larger than has been seen in Leilani Estates this week, Stovall said.

For a while, the main concern was focused on the summit lake, inside the Halema'uma'u Crater, which the almost 2 million tourists who visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park each year can view from the visitors' center.

One resident, Ikaika Marzo, told Hawaii News Now he saw "fountains" of lava as high as 125 feet (38 metres).

Resident Jeremiah Osuna, who captured the drone footage, described the scene as a curtain of flame roaring through the vegetation.

  • Leroy Wright