The eruption of Kilauea volcano has sent lava flowing into residential areas on Hawaii’s Big Island, with residents ordered to abandon their homes. Hundreds of small earthquakes preceded the eruption.
Here are glimpses of the eruption and the aftermath.
A plume of ash rises from Kilauea Volcano, one of five on the island, after a series of earthquakes over the last couple of days, in Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano is the youngest and most active on the island of Hawaii, and has been erupting almost continuously since 1983, according to the US Geological Survey. It's in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a major tourist attraction.. Photograph: USGS/Reuters
Area near the Kilauea Volcano is seen in this aerial image after the volcano erupted following a series of earthquakes. The spewing lava set trees ablaze and threatened homes in the areas nearby. US Geological Survey seismologist Jana Pursley said there have been 119 earthquakes on the Big Island since Thursday afternoon. The USGS said Friday's 6.9 quake was the most powerful on the island since 1975. Photograph: USGS/Reuters
The Kilauea Volcano's Pu'u 'O'o crater is seen in this aerial image. Destructive molten flows aren't the only concern. Volcanic eruptions can release potentially dangerous sulfur dioxide -- and fire department personnel have detected high levels of the gas in the evacuation area, the civil defense agency said. Photograph: USGS/Reuters
Several schools have been ordered shut and temporary flight restrictions have been put in place. Past volcanic eruptions, some that occurred decades ago, have caused lasting damage to parts of the region. An eruption from the Pu’u ’O’o cone of Kilauea in 1983 has continued to flow, destroying houses in the Royal Gardens subdivision. In 1990, more than 100 homes in the Kalapana community were destroyed by lava flow. Now residents worry that more structures could be threatened in the area, which is one of the fastest-growing in the state. Photograph: USGS/Reuters
Steam cracks are shown before a fissure opened on Kaupili Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision caused by an eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. Photograph: USGS/Reuters
Carolyn McNamara, 70, hugs her neighbour Paul Campbell, 68, at an evacuation center in Pahoa after moving out of their homes in the Puna community of Leilani Estates after the Kilauea Volcano erupted. Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens. Harry Kim, mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents, including those who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters