Ten thousand Hawaii residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes after the Big Island's Kilauea volcano erupted and began spewing lava and deadly gases into the air.
The eruption was accompanied by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake, followed by hundreds of smaller tremors
Warning sirens sounded across the Big Island at 4.30pm on Thursday as Hawaii County Civil Defense urged residents of Leilani Estates, in Puna, to flee the approaching lava streams.
A 492ft fissure opened in the ground with lava flowing from it for around two hours, officials said, with magma a few feet before stopping. Geologists warned the eruption is still ongoing.
Dangerously high levels of sulfur dioxide have also been detected in the air, which is harmful to humans if breathed in and can cause acid rain after combining with water.
Lower Puna resident Ikaika Marzo told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that he saw 'fountains of lava' shooting 150 feet in the air and molten lava spreading down Mohala Street in Leilani Estates.