Kilauea volcano erupts in Hawaii, spurring evacuation of residential neighborhoods

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Friday, May 4, 2018
Hawaii volcano eruption forces evacuations
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Hawaii's Kilauea eruption caused evacuations for nearby homes.

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Officials are working to evacuate residents after days of earthquakes resulted in an eruption of lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 5.0-magnitude earthquake struck Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday.

The Hawai'i County Department of Public Works reports steam and lava emissions from a crack which formed in one subdivision.

Officials urged residents evacuating the area to bring personal items for comfort and emergency supplies.

The temblor Thursday was the latest and largest in a series of hundreds of small earthquakes to shake the island's active volcano since the Puu Oo vent crater floor collapsed and caused magma to rush into new underground chambers.

The quake was centered about 4.3-miles deep on the south flank of Kilauea. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says the earthquake was not strong enough to trigger a tsunami.

Earthquakes in the region have been happening consistently since the Puu Oo crater collapsed on Monday.

"It appears that ground shaking from the earthquake caused rockfalls in the Puu Oo crater on Kilauea Volcano's East Rift Zone, which resulted in a short-lived plume of reddish ash rising above the cone," said Tina Neal, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's chief scientist in a statement.

Hawaii County officials reported Wednesday that a road in the Big Island's Puna District was closed after it was damaged by earlier quakes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.