An eruption is possible but not imminent.
The lava outbreak was first reported about 4:30 p.m., some six hours after a 5.0-magnitude quake shook the Big Island Thursday morning. It was not an explosive event, where lava shoots skyward in dramatic fashion.
The county has ordered evacuations for all of Leilani Estates, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census has a population of 1,500. But she says how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved.
Officials are keeping watch on Kilauea, which is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Resident Ikaika Marzo said he could see "fountains" of lava in the community.
Residents and social media posts show plumes of smoke in the area.
"It sounds like a jet engine". These cracks result from deformation of the ground surface due to the underlying intrusion of magma, the HVO said, adding that no steam was observed.
"White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision", the agency wrote, saying spatters began just before 5:00 pm.
Just prior to the eruption, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying they were on "high alert" for the possibility of an eruption in the area.
It is not known how many homes are covered by the evacuation order. It moved so far, it's now underneath the Puna District, one of the fastest-growing residential areas on the Big Island.
(USGS) Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation.
Hawaii County Civil Defense is asking residents in lower Puna, which includes Nanawale, Leilani, and Kapoho, to be alert for any updates, in case there is an eruption.
Lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision, in the areas of Mohala and Leilani Streets. The county is ordering evacuations for homes from Luana Street to Pohohiki Road.
"It appears that ground shaking from the natural disaster caused rockfalls in the Puu Oo crater on Kilauea Volcano's East Rift Zone, which resulted in a short-lived plume of reddish ash rising above the cone", said Tina Neal, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge. But this time, the magma moved elsewhere - about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of the east rift zone.