HAWAII’S Big Island has been hit by another big earthquake - this time measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale - shaking up to 10,000 people already forced to evacuate.
It’s the biggest earthquake the volcanic island chain has experienced since 1975.
The earthquake shook Hawaii’s Big Island this morning, prompting fresh eruptions of a volcano that has been spewing lava near residential areas, forcing hundreds of people to flee.
Hawaii’s Fire Department has issued fresh evacuation orders, warning of high levels of sulfur dioxide gas.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 12:32pm local time (2232 GMT) and was centered on the south flank of the Kilauea volcano, which first erupted on Thursday after a series of tremors on the island.
“This is in almost exactly the same location as the deadly 1975 M 7.1 quake,” USGC said in a tweet.
That quake killed two people and injured 28.
Another 5.7-magnitude tremor hit the island earlier on Friday and authorities said they expect more seismic activity.
The quakes have prompted the Kilauea volcano, one of five active on the island, to erupt.
Drone and video footage showed orange magma gushing up from cracks in the ground and snaking through a wooded area.
Molten lava could also be seen bubbling up through cracks on streets in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhood where residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday.
The area is home to about 1,700 people and 770 structures. The broader district potentially impacted by the threat is home to some 10,000 people.
No injuries have been reported but several homes were said to have been destroyed or badly damaged on Friday, authorities said.
Officials urged any remaining residents to evacuate and warned of extremely high levels of toxic fumes.
“Elderly, young and people with respiratory issues need to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the area,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.
Governor David Ige said residents were being housed in community centers until the danger from Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has passed.
Ige signed an emergency proclamation releasing disaster funds to the Big Island.