About 1,500 residents of communities on the Big Island of Hawaii fled their homes after the Kilauea volcano began to spew lava, according to the Associated Press.
About 100 people remain in shelters Friday. There have been no reports of injuries or deaths. Hawaii Gov. David Ige activated the National Guard to help with evacuations, which left more than 700 structures empty.
Authorities detected a high amount of sulfur gas in the air, which they said could threaten the elderly and those with breathing issues.
The eruption began late Wednesday as molten lava broke through the forests and spewed out on several main streets.
Hawaiian residents were first warned of a potential volcano eruption when several earthquakes erupted in the area throughout the last week, according to the Deseret News.
Videos of the “curtain of fire” began to circulate online Friday morning.
Lava can be seen spewing from a vent in Hawaii's Leilani Estates community on the Big Island after eruption of Kilauea volcano. https://t.co/DdDqlKmyV2— ABC News (@ABC) May 4, 2018
The county has ordered evacuations for all of Leilani Estates, which according to the last Census has a population of 1,500. pic.twitter.com/v8O2poQGPe
Breaking: An eruption is underway at the Kīlauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. Lava is currently seeping into the Leilani Estates community. Evacuations have been ordered for up to 10,000 people in the area. pic.twitter.com/AMb9WNPV0Z— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) May 4, 2018
FRIGHTENING ERUPTION: Nearly 1,500 residents have been forced to flee their homes as heavy smoke, ash and lava continue to spew from Hawaii's volatile Kilauea volcano. The latest: https://t.co/Ut1IXsKSFB pic.twitter.com/wQINYusnzv— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) May 4, 2018
I was at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater @Volcanoes_NPS when a rock fall within the summit lake produced this billowing cloud of ash & smoke & later learned it was the same time the intrusion eruption started on Mohala Street in Leilani Estates https://t.co/d0j8nrgyer @HawaiiNewsNow #HINews pic.twitter.com/qZAUtNOMeS— Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln) May 4, 2018
#KilaueaVolcano: There Were 50 Small Earthquakes Today at Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano.— ~Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) May 3, 2018
Scientists Say It Could Trigger a New Eruption & People Are Being Told to Stay Away.
USGS is Sending Two Ground Crews Into The Area to Install New Monitoring Equipment.pic.twitter.com/pwFSf4iHPw
The Kilauea volcano is the most active volcano in Hawaii, according to Hawaii News Now. It erupted because the Puu Oo crater collapsed underneath the volcano’s rift zone.
"The seismicity on the lower east rift zone had declined and the tilt had slowed down, so that indicates that the intrusion has stalled or paused," said Janet Babb, a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist. "What we don't know is if this intrusive event is over or if it's just taking a pause and it may pick back up."
According to the New York Post, Babb said that the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has seen similar activity in the past, which led them to believe that the volcano would erupt again.