Damage and evacuations as Volcano Kilauea spews lava in Hawaii

Two additional lava fissures have opened up on Kilauea in Hawaii, bringing the number of eruptions to 10.

The volcano began spewing lava at around 9pm on Thursday night (local time) forcing hundreds of residents on Hawaii's Big Island to evacuate.

Officials had hoped a quiet period would allow residents to briefly return to their homes to pack more belongings and check on pets.

However, the new Kilauea eruptions have sent lava into the air and across roads, causing authorities to postpone returns and issue a warning about the dangerous levels of sulphur dioxide in the air in Leilani Estates. Leilani Estates is a subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of the volcano.

The Governor of Hawaii's spokesperson Cindy McMillan said 1700 people in the Leilani Estates were affected by the evacuation order.

At least five houses have been destroyed in the eruption, said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the mayor of Hawaii County.

Kilauea is the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the islands of Hawaii. Located along the southern shore of the island, the volcano is between 300,000 and 600,000 years old and emerged above sea level about 100,000 years ago.

Hundreds of earthquakes - most of them around 2.0 magnitude - have been recorded in the area recently, CNN reported. The string of earthquakes came after a collapse of a crater floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which is a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea Volcano.