Two homes have been confirmed destroyed, and hundreds of residents have been displaced. It came after a magnitude-5.4 quake struck the same area Friday.
The situation wasn't getting any better, Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters on Friday afternoon.
"Activity continues. It doesn't look like it is slowing down", he said.
Sally Sennert, a USGS volcanologist embedded with the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program, said there may have been a blockage in the usual path to the surface, diverting the molten rock.
"That would be a real problem, because our dogs are farm dogs", he said, explaining that cooping them up in the vehicle with their cats wouldn't go smoothly.
"This particular eruption has been unusual", Director of Public Affairs for the state of Hawaii Department of Defense Lt. Col. Charles Anthony said.
A mandatory evacuation order remained in effect in parts of Hawaii on Friday after the Kilauea volcano erupted, spitting red-hot lava out of ground fissures and releasing unsafe gases into residential areas.
Scientists were processing data from the earthquakes to see if they were affecting the eruption, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman Janet Babb said. There were six more eruptions after the quake.
Hawaii Electric Light said the jolt knocked out power to about 14,400 customers, but electricity was restored about two hours later. "We're at 10 percent of that", Brewer said soon after launching the campaign and arriving at the shelter to learn what's needed. Authorities closed the area to visitors and ordered private tour companies to stop taking people into the region.
State Sen. Russell Ruderman says he could feel strong shaking in Hilo. Images showed lava shooting more than 100 feet in the air and bubbling up from the ground. Dramatic video of lava bursting through pavement and snaking through wooded areas was released to the media. He also says he could smell the sulphur, along with the burning trees and other vegetation. "I couldn't believe it".
Leilani Estates has about 1,700 residents and 770 homes.
The 6.9M quake Friday is the latest and largest in a series of hundreds of small earthquakes to shake the island's active volcano, Kilauea, since the Puu Oo vent crater floor collapsed and caused magma to rush into new underground chambers. The agency also warned of "active volcanic fountaining".
Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide could be life-threatening, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
"It's sort of like you've injected ammonia into all your, your nose, into your breathing area, into your throat", Davis said. The US volcanology community faces formidable challenges in performing its duties.
The Hawaii governor activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security for properties that were abandoned when residents fled to safety.
Less than an hour after the eruption began, wailing warning sirens joined the cacophony, Maija Stenback, a resident of Leilani Estates, told The Washington Post.
Some residents took the evacuations in stride.
In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, red ash rises from the Kilauea Volcano on Thursday in Hawaii.
"This is in nearly exactly the same location as the deadly 1975 M 7.1 natural disaster", the USGS tweeted.
"It's going to be hard (to identify) because nobody's really home to report it", said police Sgt. Charrise Wakita, at the intersection of Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road.