M-4.2 earthquake recorded on Kilauea Volcano’s south flank

  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.2 earthquake beneath Kilauea Volcano’s south flank on Sunday evening.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.2 earthquake beneath Kilauea Volcano’s south flank on Sunday evening.

The earthquake, recorded at 8:37 p.m.. was centered about 7.5 miles southeast of Kilauea caldera near the Holei Pali area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at a depth of 4.8 miles.

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Weak to light shaking, with maximum intensity of III, was reported across Hawaii Island. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected, according to HVO. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service received over 280 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.

According to HVO seismologist Brian Shiro, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes.

“We see no detectable changes in activity at the summits or along the rift zones of Kilauea or Mauna Loa as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt,” he said in a press release.

HVO said it continues to monitor Kilauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.

Kilauea’s south flank has been the site of 20 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano’s south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust.

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The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of Sunday’s earthquake are consistent with slip along this south flank fault, according to HVO. The earthquake is likely an aftershock of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake as the volcano continues to settle.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, no tsunami was triggered by the earthquake.

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