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Big Island of Hawaii hit by historic earthquake after Kilauea volcano erupts

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 6 May 2018, 12:39 IST

An active volcano erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii, after this incident two major earthquakes, including the strongest to hit Hawaii in more than four decades - jolted residents there who were in the midst of evacuating from the lava flows and toxic gas that threatened their homes.

On Thursday, the Kilauea volcano first erupted after which lava gushed out of the ground on the eastern side of the island. The residents who stay there were ordered to leave amid threats of fires and "extremely high levels of dangerous" sulfur dioxide gas.

On Friday, after the eruption the island shook at regular intervals. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 5.6 magnitude quake hit south of the volcano around 11:30 a.m. local time, followed about an hour later by a 6.9-magnitude temblor.

According to the USGS, the last earthquake which hit south of the volcano went as far away as Oahu and struck in nearly the exact same place as a deadly 7.4-magnitude earthquake had in 1975.

Some people posted videos on social media which showed homes visibly shaking, items clattering to the floor at supermarkets and waves forming in swimming pools as the 6.9 magnitude quake rattled the Big Island Friday afternoon.

Although, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency reported that the threat of a tsunami is low following the earthquakes.  

"Everything is still elevated," agency administrator Talmadge Magno said, according to Hawaii News Now. "It kind of gets you nervous."

Hawaii News Now reported, Drone footage showed lava oozing forth along the fissures that had formed, inching toward homes in Leilani Estates and leaving lines of smoldering trees in their wake. At least two homes in the subdivision caught fire.

Kilauea is the youngest and most active volcano on Hawaii Island, according to USGS. The eruption from the volcano came hours after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the island Thursday morning.

First published: 6 May 2018, 12:39 IST