Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Hawaii residents uneasy as hundreds of earthquakes shake the island

Hawaii residents uneasy as hundreds of earthquakes shake the island

Residents in the Puna community, home to about 10,000 people, were ordered to evacuate after public works officials reported steam and lava emissions from a crack, according to media and the County's Civil Defense Agency.

"It sounded like if you were to put a bunch of rocks into a dryer and turn it on as high as you could".

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

"I urge residents in Leilani Estates and the surrounding areas to follow instructions".

But as of yet, no new magma flow has reached the surface - meaning its movement has been underground causing earthquakes in the area. The county is ordering evacuations for homes from Luana Street to Pohohiki Road.

Ikaika Marzo told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that lava spread out over an area about 200 yards (182 meters) wide behind one house in Leilani (LAY-lah-nee) Estates on Thursday.

Due to frequent low magnitude quake activity, officials are cautioning the public on the eastern side of Hawaii's Big Island to take safety preparations in case Kīlauea Volcano erupts.

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"The preparations include the identification of shelters, mobilisation of police and other security personnel to ensure residents' safety, and road crews to ensure access to evacuation routes", the mayor's statement said.

At 10:30 a.m. today, ground shaking from a preliminary magnitude-5.0 natural disaster south of Puu Oo caused rockfalls and possibly additional collapse into the Puu Oo crater on Kīlauea Volcano's east rift zone.

The collapse caused magma to push more than 10 miles (16km ) downslope towards the populated south-east coastline of the island.

"With the number of earthquakes and the migration down the rift zone it does merit vigilance and due diligence to prepare for the possibility of an eruption", said Janet Babb, geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

It moved so far, it's now underneath the Puna District, one of the fastest-growing residential areas on the Big Island.

The latest quake is the largest in hundreds of magnitude 2.5 and larger tremors over the last few days which scientists say is a possible precursor of a new lava outbreak from Kilauea volcano's lower east rift zone.

An eruption may take place anywhere from Puu Oo to beyond Kapoho to the east.

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