Hundreds of residents evacuated in Hawaii following volcanic eruption

Lava is reported to have been spewed high into the air in one area of Hawaii's 'Big Island'

Hundreds of residents evacuated in Hawaii following volcanic eruption

In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, red ash rises from the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano after a magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck the Big Island. Picture by: Kevan Kamibayashi/AP/Press Association Images

Hundreds of residents have been evacuated in Hawaii following a volcanic eruption.

The eruption of Mount Kilauea followed a series of earthquakes in recent days, according to BBC.

Hawaii News Now reported the eruption sent "spewing lava into the air as high as utility poles".

Officials called for an evacuation of Leilani Estates district on Hawaii's 'Big Island', following 'steam and lava emissions' in the area.

In this photo released by U.S. Geological Survey, lava is shown burning in Leilani Estates subdivision near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

Local media reported around 1,700 people live in the evacuated areas, and it was unclear when they would be able to return to their homes.

The Red Cross opened emergency shelters at two local community centres for those affected.

In a statement, Hawaii County Civil Defense said: "Evacuating residents should bring emergency evacuation supplies, including food, medicines, and items necessary for personal comfort, if possible.

"Hawaii County Civil Defense, police, fire, and partners continue to assist evacuation efforts and monitor the situation."

Local governor David Ige, meanwhile, signed an emergency proclamation in the wake of the eruption, to provide "relief for disaster damages, losses and suffering, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people":