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6.9-magnitude earthquake hits Hawaii’s Big Island, USGS says, following a recent volcanic eruption

2018-05-05

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake rattled the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, following a recent volcanic eruption.

The quake hit roughly 10 miles southwest of Leilani Estates, Hawaii, the USGS reported. It was centered near the south flank of Kilauea volcano, which erupted Thursday and continued to spew lava into Friday.

The seismic event was preceeded by reports of a 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck roughly 11 miles southwest of the same area, the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the earthquake wasn't powerful enough to cause a tsunami, according to the Associated Press. No tsunami threat or advisory is in place, they added.

Maj. Jeff Hickman, spokesman for the Hawaii National Guard, told the Associated Press that neither the Hilo airport nor the highways were damanged amid the quake.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation previously tweeted that there had been no reported damage to roadways.

"Crews are continuing to conduct inspections and are monitoring conditions," the agency said.

The earlier Kilauea volcano eruption forced officials to issue evacuation orders to more than 1,500 residents.

Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking its way through forest land and bubbling up on paved streets near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island. Elsewhere, lava spurted into the sky from cracks in the road.

Fire officials warned that they had detected extremely high levels of sulfur in the area and reiterated that people should leave until the threat had passed.

Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told The Associated Press that the volcano has "quite a bit of magma in the system."

"It won't be just an hours-long eruption probably, but how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved," Miklius said. "And so we are watching that very, very closely."

Fox News' Amy Lieu, Lucia I. Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.