Two dead, 28 injured in Hawaii volcano; strongest since 1975

May 06, 2018, 07:11 IST | Agencies

Drone and video footage showed orange magma gushing up from cracks in the ground

Lava is seen coming out from a fissure in Leilani Estates. Pic/AFP
Lava is seen coming out from a fissure in Leilani Estates. Pic/AFP

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook Hawaii's Big Island on Friday, prompting fresh eruptions from a volcano that has been spewing lava near residential areas, forcing hundreds of people to flee.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 12.32 pm and was centered on the south flank of the Kilauea volcano, which first erupted on Thursday after a series of tremors. That quake killed two people and injured 28. Another 5.7-magnitude tremor had hit the island earlier on Friday and authorities said they expect more seismic activity. The quakes have prompted the Kilauea volcano, one of five active on the island, to erupt.

Drone and video footage showed orange magma gushing up from cracks in the ground and snaking through a wooded area. Molten lava could also be seen bubbling up through cracks on streets in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighbourhood where residents were ordered to evacuate. The area is home to about 1,700 people and 770 structures. The broader district potentially impacted by the threat is home to some 10,000 people.

Beware of gases
Officials urged any remaining residents to evacuate and warned of extremely high levels of toxic fumes. "Hawaii Fire Department reports extremely dangerous air quality conditions due to high levels of sulphur dioxide gas in the evacuation area," the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said. "Elderly, young and people with respiratory issues need to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the area," said a statement from the mayor's office.

Governor David Ige said residents were being housed in community centers until the danger from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has passed. The lava outbreak came after hundreds of small earthquakes occurred in recent days following the collapse of a crater floor on the Puu Oo volcanic cone.

6.1-magnitude quake rocks Philippines
Manila: A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake was detected off the eastern Philippines on Saturday, but there were no reports of any damage or casualties, authorities said. The epicentre of the quake was about 310 km east of the capital Manila, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Local authorities said the tremors weren't strong enough to cause serious damage.

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