KAILUA-KONA — Nearly 1,400 people across Hawaii reported to the USGS they felt Friday afternoon’s magnitude-6.9 temblor, and many of them took to social media to share their experience.
West Hawaii, of course, was no exception.
“Well boys and girls, apparently that was a 6.9 earthquake,” wrote Fortune Otter of Ocean View. “All is well at my house, just rocking and rolling.”
From statements to photos to videos of windows rattling and items on the ground, social media lit up in the minutes after the temblor struck at 12:32 p.m.
“EARTHQUAKE AGAIN!! Holy smokes! Now that one was scary,” wrote Kailua-Kona resident Kym Kiser.
Some shared witty remarks to lighten the situation.
“Earthquake knocked over my coffee. Enough is enough,” wrote Wade Morales of Hilo.
The earthquake was the strongest in Hawaii since Nov. 29, 1975. That earthquake, a magnitude-7.2 struck in nearly the same place on Kilauea Volcano’s southern flank, causing a tsunami that killed two and resulted in more than $4.1 million in damage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In comparison, the Oct. 15, 2006, Kiholo Bay earthquakes were a magnitude-6.7 and magnitude-6.1, but located much closer to West Hawaii and occurred at a deeper depth of 18 miles versus 3.1 miles with Friday’s earthquake. According to the USGS, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake is nearly two times stronger than a magnitude-6.7 and shallow quakes generally tend to be more damaging.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Seismic Network Monitor Brian Shiro said the magnitude-6.9 earthquake felt Friday afternoon is just one of many related to the ongoing volcanic activity at Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone and reflects adjustments beneath the volcano’s southern flank.
“Additional strong, damaging earthquakes are possible,” he cautioned. The observatory cautioned they could likely occur for weeks to months into the future.
“Individuals and families should prepare accordingly,” the observatory advised.
In the West Hawaii Today office, the shaking was quite strong when the temblor struck, but there was no damage and the power remained on. But that wasn’t the case everywhere as videos posted on Facebook appeared to show scores of items knocked off shelves at KTA Super Stores in downtown Hilo. Power was also out in Hilo and Puna.
“The house shook hard and it shook long,” said Laura Mallery-Sayre of North Kona, who during the quake had to run downstairs to get her dogs out of the garage for their safety.
Joy Keahi Mills was at Kahaluu Bay at the time.
“Wow!!” she wrote on Facebook. “Kahalu’u Beach, Kona. Pele shaking it up here too.”
Chiming in from Napoopoo was longtime resident Gordon Leslie.
“Felt that one!” he wrote.
For some the earthquake was a reminder.
“It has taken years for people to forget we live on an active volcano…. but I think they are relearning now,” wrote Kenneth Victor of Kailua-Kona.
“I was feeling safe because the volcano is in the other side of the island. But these huge earthquakes shaking up the whole island starting to freak me a little. Worried that the next one will create a tsunami,” wrote Billy Lum of Kailua-Kona. “Be safe, be alert and most of all, be prepared everyone. My Boy Scout motto.”