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USGS HVO Press Release
2020-02-02 Press Link

Magnitude-4.2 earthquake on Kīlauea Volcano's south flank


The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.2 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano's south flank on Sunday, February 2, at 8:37 p.m., HST.

The earthquake was centered about 12 km (7.5 miles) southeast of Kīlauea caldera near the Hōlei Pali area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at a depth of 7.7 km (4.8 miles). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/. More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv71365812/.

Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of III, has been reported across the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/dyfi/) 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 Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. "We see no detectable changes in activity at the summits or along the rift zones of Kīlauea or Mauna Loa as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt." HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.

Kīlauea'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 possibly an aftershock of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake as the volcano continues to settle.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

For information on recent earthquakes in Hawaii and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/.


Volcano updates, photos, maps, and recent earthquake data for Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo.

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