Honolulu, May 5: A massive quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted Hawaii residents were evacuating from their homes following a volcanic eruption that has not showed any signs of slowing down, authorities said. The temblor that struck 16 km southwest of Leilani Estates at 12.32 p.m., on Friday, was one of more than 110 earthquakes that hit the island since the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, erupted on Wednesday, reports CNN.
US Geological Survey (USGS) 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. About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake. The quake has knocked out power to residents who were already dealing with mandatory evacuation orders, molten rock and high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.
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. Kim said people who want to check on their homes would be allowed into the neighbourhoods. Video posted on social media showed lava spewing several feet into the air from a new crack in a Leilani Estates street. Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area. Hawaii Governor David Ige has activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and security. (IANS)