An ash plume rises from Halemaumau Crater
© USGS/HVO webcam
An ash plume rises from Halemaumau Crater at 4 p.m. HST Sunday, June 3, 2018.
HAWAII'S Big Island has been rocked by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake at a depth of 1.14km and 5km south-west of Kilauea Volcano, near Crater Rim Drive, Pahoa, according to the US Geological Survey.

It is the largest earthquake to strike the island since a 6.9 earthquake rocked Hawaii on May 4 near the erupting volcano.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said some areas may have experienced strong shaking.

However, they have currently not issued a tsunami warning.

No damages or injuries have currently been reported.

The tremor was located near Mount Kilauea, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Military Camp, Volcano House and Volcano Winery.

There have been over 500 earthquakes in the summit area of Kilauea in the last 24 hours.

The quake sent a plume of ash up to 8,000 ft as the wind blew in the southwest direction.

Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said it was the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit area.

Most earthquakes associated with the ongoing Kilauea Volcano eruption are in the magnitude 2-3 range.

Residents were urged to check for damage to utility connections of gas, water, and electricity.

Over 80 homes have been destroyed by lava flows in the last month.

Mr Shiro added: "There have been no major explosions or large ash plumes over the past day.

"The ash advisory has actually been lifted as of 11am this morning (10pm Sunday night)."

However he noted there is the potential for more powerful summit explosions as scientists believe the conduit in Halema'uma'u crater is currently clogged with rocks and debris.

He noted the volcano eruption continues to be vigorous in the Lower East Rift Zone, where lava continues to flow towards Kapoho Beach from fissure 8.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued on Thursday night for a section of the Leilani Estates, where "vigorous lava eruptions" were occurring, according to the Civil Defence.

Individuals in Kapoho, including Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, were also ordered to leave due to the increasing threat of being trapped by lava flows.

The Civil Defence advised residents to evacuate by Friday, after which point emergency responders had no plans to rescue anyone beyond the deadline.

Janet Snyder, county spokeswoman, said: "They are being asked to leave. Period."

It comes after three people on the island of Hawaii were evacuated after becoming trapped near the volatile Kilauea volcano.