Fresh Earthquake In Hawaii Forces People From Their Homes

Recent earthquakes as of 8:12 a.m. Tuesday

One woman angrily told police guarding Leilani Estates that she was going in and they couldn't arrest her.

Now, there is a real one.

Sputtering lava, strong earthquakes and toxic gas jolted the southern part of the Big Island of Hawaii as magma shifted underneath a restless Kilauea volcano.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, a fissure produces steam from a street after the eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii.

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 Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the second quake wasn't strong enough to cause a tsunami, and Hawaii's Department of Transportation said no damage had been reported to roads.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman Janet Babb said the earthquakes reflected the volcano adjusting to the shifting magma. Lava has been spurting out of the ground from the vents, many of which formed in the same residential neighborhood where molten rock first emerged Thursday.

The USGS says areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of being covered by lava.

Betty Long, 72, another Leilani Estates resident, evacuated to the shelter near Pahoa in the early hours of Friday morning, but her husband stayed behind with their pets because he was afraid of looters. Authorities also ordered an evacuation of Lanipuna Gardens, a smaller, more rural subdivision directly to the east.




Civil defense officials cautioned the public about high levels of sulfur dioxide near the volcano and urged vulnerable people to leave immediately. Exposure can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.

The eruption comes after days of earthquakes rocked the Puna district of the Big Island. It's in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which closed Friday and evacuated all visitors and nonemergency staff. "Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur", it said. "And so we are watching that very, very closely", Miklius said. You don't normally see cracks around here near the Jaggar Museum where we are right now.

"When you are exposed to that level of SO2 in the Leilani Estates area, you need more protection than we have available to us", she said.

One resident told Hawaii News Now he saw "fountains" of lava as high as 125 feet as the volcano blew on Thursday night. 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. The Kilauea volcano is the youngest and most active on the island of Hawaii and has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983, according to the USGS.

Two homes had been destroyed in the latest activity, ABC quoted Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim as saying.

The US Geological Survey said new ground cracks were reported Thursday afternoon.

Authorities have ordered at least 1,800 people ro evacuate in the areas close to the volcano, now mostly in the south.

This was the largest quake in Hawaii since 1975, and generated small tsunami waves around the Big Island, triggering sea fluctuations that ranged from 8 inches in Hilo to 16 inches at Kapoho, Hawaii County Civil Defense said. He's also signed an emergency proclamation to help provide state money for "quick and efficient relief".

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