The eruptions were accompanied by a series of light tremors, punctuated by a powerful natural disaster with a magnitude of 6.9, which hit the south slope of Kilauea just after noon on Friday.
The 5.4-magnitude quake was felt across the Big Island from Hilo to Kona and as far away as Oahu.
The volcano, one of five on the island, began erupting on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the past week, the US Geological Survey reported on its website.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the second quake wasn't strong enough to cause a tsunami, and Hawaii's Department of Transportation said no damage had been reported to roads.
Starting around 11 am on Friday, the island experienced a flurry of earthquakes, the largest registering magnitude 5.8.
The community of Leilani Estates near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island appeared to be in the greatest danger.
The activity continued Friday, with reports of lava spurting from volcanic vents on two streets. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings.
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There were no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 100 people were staying in shelters Friday, with many more evacuees believed to be with relatives and friends. Exposure can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.
The eruption comes after days of earthquakes rattled the area's Puna district.
It's located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has since closed off almost 15,700 acres due to "the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity". More outbreaks of lava are expected. "The wind can push [the gas] in different directions, so that's a very serious concern given the high levels and, you know, people don't necessarily have the kinds of protective gas masks that they would need if they were right in the thick of this gas".
"Hawaiians and local people have lived here forever", she said. "As that magma source is moving into the East Rift Zone, that's leaving the southwest part of the crater to settle into that... so these cracks have opened up that you saw earlier".
Lava flows into the ocean from Kilauea Volcano at Volcanoes National Park near Volcano, Hawaii June 6, 2004. The geologic feature is the result of the island being on a "hot spot", which is a thermal plume shooting up from the Earth's depths. Throughout the day, rocks fell into the lava lake within Halemaumau Crater at the volcano's summit, pushing dark ash clouds into the sky that could be seen for miles. Since then, the lava flow has buried dozens of square miles and destroyed many homes.
Harry Kim, the mayor of Hawaii County, confirmed the destroyed homes this morning.
County, state and federal officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate, as an eruption would give little warning.
The Hawaii governor activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security for properties that were abandoned when residents fled to safety.