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Big Island residents awaken to magnitude-4.5 earthquake

August 7, 2014 - 8:02am

Big Island residents woke up to a magnitude-4.5 earthquake that struck shortly before 6:30 a.m. Thursday near Kawaihae in South Kohala.

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the earthquake was located 3.4 miles east-northeast of Kawaihae. It was recorded at 6:24 a.m.

No tsunami was triggered by the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says. The center registered the earthquake as a magnitude 4.2.

According to the USGS, the earthquake was felt in many Big Island districts, including South Kohala, North Kohala, Hamakua, North Kona, South Kona, Kaʻu, Puna, and areas of Hilo. Residents on Maui also reported feeling the temblor. A total of 145 people reported feeling the earthquake.

Over the past 50 years, the area around Kawaihae has experienced 11 earthquakes greater than magnitude-4.0, including Thursday’s event, at depths of 6 to 12 miles. Deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth’s crust to accommodate the heavy load of Mauna Kea and surrounding volcanoes. Today’s earthquake is in the general region of the 2006 Mahukona earthquake, but is not close enough to the 2006 event to be an aftershock of it.

Thursday’s earthquake caused no detectable changes on the active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii.