A number of strong earthquakes have hit Hawaii’s Big Island, a day after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

One quake, a 6.9 magnitude south-east of the volcano, was the most powerful to hit the US state since 1975.

It briefly cut power, and sent people fleeing from buildings but there was no tsunami warning.

Meanwhile, there were several fresh eruptions sending up fountains of lava 30m (100ft), destroying several homes and leaving fissures on three streets.

The Civil Defense Agency told any remaining residents to evacuate.

It said there were deadly levels of dangerous sulphur dioxide gas in the air and emergency crews would not be able to help anyone affected.

The new volcanic activity in Mt Kilauea’s lower east rift zone amounted to “vigorous lava spattering”, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, adding that additional outbreaks in the area were likely. 

However ground deformation was continuing and there was high earthquake activity in the area.

Meanwhile, the level of the lava lake inside the volcano was continuing to drop.

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

Thursday’s eruption prompted a local state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of 1 700 residents.

Community centres have been opened to provide shelter for evacuees.

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the eruption follows a series of recent earthquakes.

 

-BBC