After authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for a portion of Leilani Estates in Hawaii after lava from the Kilauea volcano began to leak in residential areas, another quake of magnitude 6.9 hit the Big Island Friday afternoon. A 5.6 magnitude quake hit south of the volcano, which was followed by a larger 6.9-magnitude temblor, according to the USGS.
Though the quakes could be felt on the highly populated island of Oahu, as of 11:20 EST, no evacuations have been called for.
The volcano, one of five on the island, began erupting on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the past week, the USGS reported on its website.
A huge magnitude-6.9 quake has rattled an area near the south part of the volcano, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami and transportation officials said no damage to roads has been reported.
A man watches as lava is seen coming from a fissure in Leilani Estates subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island on May 4, 2018.
Leilani Estates appeared to be at greatest risk, but scientists said new vents and outbreaks could occur and it's not possible to say where.
Brad Stanfill said the lava was more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from his house but he was not allowed in because of a mandatory evacuation order.
The volcanic vents - each several hundred yards long - were found on Makamae, Kaupili and Mohala streets as well as near Kahukai Street and Pohoiki Road, officials said.
As of Saturday, there have been no reports of injuries due to the Kilauea eruption. Exposure to the gas can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.
Dr. Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the small tsunami waves did not pose any threat but underscore the importance of vigilance as the Kilauea eruptions continue. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. "And so we are watching that very, very closely", Miklius said.
"You can't really predict what Pele is going to do", Woolsey said, referring to the Hawaiian volcano goddess. "As that magma source is moving into the East Rift Zone, that's leaving the southwest part of the crater to settle into that... so these cracks have opened up that you saw earlier". Lava flows from the volcano have covered 125 square km, according to the US Geological Survey. The geologic feature is the result of the island being on a "hot spot", which is a thermal plume shooting up from the Earth's depths.
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. At least two homes in the subdivision caught fire, Hawaii News Now reported.
Harry Kim, the mayor of Hawaii County, confirmed the destroyed homes this morning.
"Just basically heartbreak", he said of the scene.
It's still spewing ash and molten lava, and at least 1,800 residents have been ordered to evacuate. Post office officials said beginning today and until further notice, Hilo Downtown's P.O. box customers are asked to pick up their mail over the counter at the Hilo Main Post Office, 1299 Kekuanaoa St.
Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency closed the area to visitors on Tuesday and ordered private tour companies to stop taking people into the region. He's also signed an emergency proclamation to help provide state money for "quick and efficient relief".