Regular earthquakes have hit Big Island since the eruption of the Kilaueau Volcano began, with a magnitude as great as 7.1, causing even further risk to life and exacerbating property damage from the lava flows.
Movement of tectonic plates can cause a release of pressure in the earth's crust, which releases magma to the Earth's surface, creating lava flows. In areas of active volcanoes, this activity takes place regularly, and has taken place multiple times in recent geologic history. The release of lava at the ground surface builds up over time to form volcanoes like the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.
Unfortunately, the massive energy released from volcanoes isn't something that can be prevented even with modern engineering practices. The best plan is to have emergency action plans in place to warn the public in the event of impending and ongoing volcanic explosions so they stand the best chance of evacuating the areas around volcanoes before they are impacted from the
lava flows, flying debris, or toxic sulfur gas. - Mike Batten, DTC Civil Geotechnical Instructor