M-4.6 earthquake shakes Big Island

  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.6 earthquake beneath Kilauea Volcano’s south flank at 11:20 p.m. Thursday. (Image capture from USGS map/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.6 earthquake beneath Kilauea Volcano’s south flank at 11:20 p.m. Thursday.

The earthquake was centered about 4.3 miles south of Pu’u ‘O’o at approximately 4.2 miles in depth. Very light shaking was reported by residents on Hawaii Island, Maui and Lanai.

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At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected, the observatory said.

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

“We currently observe no immediate changes in activity at Kilauea or Mauna Loa as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and may be felt,” he said.

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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. The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of today’s earthquake are consistent with slip along this south flank fault. This 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, there was no tsunami threat from the earthquake.

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