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USGS HVO Press Release
2019-08-22 Press Link

Magnitude-4.2 Earthquake south of the Island of Hawai‘i


The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded an offshore magnitude-4.2 earthquake south of the Island of Hawai‘i on Thursday, August 22, at 4:33 a.m., HST.

The earthquake was centered about 57 km (35 mi) southeast of Pāhala, Hawai‘i, at a depth of 46 km (29 mi). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/.

Weak shaking, with maximum Intensity of III, has been reported from around the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service (https://earthquake.usgs.gov/dyfi/) received 30 felt reports within two hours of the earthquake.

According to Brian Shiro, HVO's Seismic Network Manager, the earthquake was located 10 km (6 mi) south of the summit of Lō‘ihi seamount, but does not appear to be associated with the submarine volcano. "The earthquake was most likely due to bending of the Earth's crust under the weight of Hawai‘i Island," he said.

Lō‘ihi is an active submarine volcano located on the seafloor south of Kīlauea Volcano about 30 km (19 mi) off the southeast coast of the Island of Hawai‘i. The seamount is 969 m (3,180 ft) below sea level. It last erupted in 1996.

Today's earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that no tsunami was generated by it.

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


Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo.

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