Kilauea volcano: More earthquakes hit Hawaii, 2 houses already destroyed by lava


"It's been a real shocker", he told CNN on Saturday.

Now, there is a real one.

The latest series of earthquakes began on Thursday with a 4.6 magnitude quake, which shook the islands active volcano Kilauea.

At midday, a magnitude 6.9 natural disaster struck - the biggest of hundreds of quakes this week and the largest to strike the state in 43 years.

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 U.S. Geological Survey says new ground cracks were reported Thursday afternoon.

One of the quakes registered a magnitude of 6.9, the strongest to strike Hawaii since 1975.

The volcano continues to spew ash and molten lava, forcing evacuations on Hawaii's Big Island.

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.

"I think the situation in Leilani Estates is still very dynamic", Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet Babb said Friday afternoon. A nearby neighborhood, Lanipuna Gardens, which has a few dozen people, also has been evacuated. Two new volcanic vents, which spew lava, developed Friday, bringing the number formed to five.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 100 people were staying in shelters Friday, with many more evacuees believed to be with relatives and friends. Exposure to the gas can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.

Scientists and local officials are warning residents that more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are likely on the way, the Express reported.

It's located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has since closed off almost 15,700 acres due to "the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity".

"These cracks are part of the reason why we chose to close. What we don't know is if this intrusive event is over or if it's just taking a pause and it may pick back up".

Keala Noel, 64, also from Leilani Estates, said she didn't feel the lava was directly threatening them, but came to the shelter at 3 am on Friday because of the sulphur. "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".

The volcano is erupting and lava flows have covered 48 square miles, some of it in residential areas. 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 the youngest and most active volcano on Hawaii Island, according to USGS.

The lava has already destroyed two homes, a subdivision road and some heavily forested private property, according to ABC News.

Harry Kim, the mayor of Hawaii County, confirmed the destroyed homes this morning.

County, state and federal officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate because an eruption would give little warning. Volcanic eruptions can release the gaseous compound, and Hawaiian fire department personnel have detected high levels of it in the evacuation area, the civil defense agency said.

Our thoughts and prayers are going out to the people of the Big Island.