Sulphuric gas could threaten elderly and people with breathing problems

A fresh earthquake - with a magnitude of 6-point-9 - has hit Hawaii's Big Island, forcing 17-hundred people from their homes.

The latest series of earthquakes began on Thursday with a 4.6 magnitude quake, which shook the islands active volcano Kilauea.

The volcano is erupting and lava flows have covered 48 square miles, some of it in residential areas.

No injuries or deaths have been reported, but there are warnings about sulphuric gas - which could threaten the elderly and people with breathing problems.

Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno says it's the strongest quake in the area for 43 years.

"Activity continues, it doesn't look like it's slowing down, everything still escalated as far as seismic activity and deflation so you know the county and the Government just still continue to respond."