Lava erupts and flows from a fissure of the Kilauea volcano on May 18 in Kapoho, Hawaii.

In pictures: Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts

Lava erupts and flows from a fissure of the Kilauea volcano on May 18 in Kapoho, Hawaii. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted this month, sending a smoldering flow of lava into residential areas on the Big Island.

Authorities ordered people living in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens to take shelter in local community centers. Volcanic vents, or fissures, have cracked open across the area and gobbled up dozens of homes and vehicles.

The eruption came after hundreds of earthquakes jarred the island’s eastern side. It was followed by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake the day after it erupted.

Kilauea has threatened residents with the eruption of its Puu Oo vent since 1983, according to the US Geological Survey.

Plumes of laze rise as lava enters the Pacific Ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii, on May 20. Laze -- a mashup of "lava" and "haze" -- is a nasty product formed when hot lava hits the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. Jae C. Hong/AP

Lava flows from fissures near Pahoa, Hawaii, on May 19. U.S. Geological Survey via AP

People play golf as an ash plume from the Kilauea volcano rises in the distance on Tuesday, May 15. Mario Tama/Getty Images

An aerial view shows a fissure that erupted in Kilauea’s East Rift Zone on Sunday, May 13. Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters/EPA

Neighbors survey lava damage in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on Wednesday, May 9. Mario Tama/Getty Images

A plume of smoke rises from a crater within the Kilauea volcano summit on May 9. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Lava engulfs a sports car in Puna, Hawaii, on Sunday, May 6. A local resident caught the moment on video. WXChasing/Reuters/Newscom

Flames and lava overtake a home in Leilani Estates on May 6. Trevor Hughes/USA Today

Lava overtakes homes in Leilani Estates on May 6. Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters//EPA

Leilani Estates residents Lucina Aquilina, left, and Elizabeth Kerekgyarto embrace before parting ways outside Kerekgyarto's home. Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser/AP

Greg Chunn takes pictures as lava advances across a neighbor's yard in Leilani Estates. Trevor Hughes/USA Today

A lava lake is seen at the volcano’s summit near Pahoa, Hawaii. U.S. Geological Survey/AP

A home in Leilani Estates is engulfed in flames. Trevor Hughes/USA Today

Lava moves in Leilani Estates. Trevor Hughes/USA Today

Leilani Estates resident Sam Knox watches lava creep across a road on Saturday, May 5. Marco Garcia/AP

A new fissure erupts in Leilani Estates on May 5. U.S. Geological Survey/AP

Volunteers prepare to distribute goods to evacuees. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Volcanic gas steams from a vent below a sign for Leilani Estates. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Personnel at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park turn visitors away on May 5. The park was forced to close because of the volcanic activity. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A man watches lava spewing from a fissure in Leilani Estates on Friday, May 4. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Local residents pray before the start of a community meeting with authorities on May 4. Marco Garcia/AP

A column of ash belches from the Kilauea volcano on May 4. U.S. Geological Survey/AP

Stella Calio, a resident from Leilani Estates, watches videos of the eruption that took place near her home. Marco Garcia/AP

A new crack is visible on the west side of Puu Oo on Wednesday, May 2. U.S. Geological Survey/ZUMA Wire

Produced by Sarah Tilotta, Brett Roegiers, Kyle Almond and Clint Alwahab