After authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for a portion of Leilani Estates in Hawaii after lava from the Kilauea volcano began to leak in residential areas, another earthquake of magnitude 6.9 hit the Big Island Friday afternoon.
The lava has already destroyed two homes, a subdivision road and some heavily forested private property, according to ABC News.
The evacuation warning order for a portion of Leilani Estates, a subdivision in the Puna District on Hawaii Island was given after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit the area Thursday.
The 6.9 magnitude tremors in the south-east region of the volcano led to brief power cuts and saw people running out of their houses in a panic. The Civil Defense Agency also said that there were deadly levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas in the air.
"My family is safe, the rest of the stuff can be replaced. When I bought here 14 years [ago], I knew that this day would eventually come. But the reality is sinking in now," one resident told Hawaii News Now, according to BBC.
A spokesperson for the county of Hawaii's Mayor, Janet Snyder said that the surrounding area is so toxic that even their first responders are finding it too hazardous to go back into the sub-divisions without heavy, protective equipment.
The evacuees are currently taking shelter at community centers.
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and earlier this week, the crater floor of the Puu Oo vent, which is a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the mountain, collapsed, pushing the magma more than 10 miles downslope toward the southeast coastline.
More than 600 earthquakes shook Hawaii's Big Island since April 30 (Monday), said U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Areas like Nanawele Estates, Leilani Estates and the coastal area of Kapoho could be affected by the volcanic eruption.