UPDATE: Another Major Earthquake Rocks Big Island

Updated 2:40 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Friday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake It is the strongest quake in Hawaii since 1975—and the largest in a series of strong earthquakes that began at 11:32 a.m. on Friday.

The magnitude-6.9 earthquake was located about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Leilani Estates, on the Island of Hawaiʻi, at a depth of 5.0 km (3.1 mi).

These earthquakes were felt as far away as the Island of Kauai. The maximum intensity of shaking was recorded as VIII on the Mercalli Intensity Scale, indicating severe shaking near the earthquake’s epicenter.

“Remember to drop, cover, and hold on during strong earthquakes. Most common injuries come from falling objects,” said HVO’s seismic network manager Brian Shiro. “The earthquakes are related to the ongoing volcanic activity in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and reflect adjustments beneath the south flank of the volcano. Additional strong, damaging earthquakes are possible.”

The mainshock was preceded by a strong magnitude-5.4 earthquake approximately one hour prior.  Several tens of aftershocks under the south flank and summit areas of Kīlauea Volcano have already occurred, the largest of which was magnitude-4.8. Strong aftershocks should be expected, and could likely occur for weeks to months into the future.  Individuals and families should prepare accordingly.

Like the magnitude-5.0 earthquake yesterday, rockfalls and ash plumes in the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater were triggered by today’s earthquake sequence. No other changes at Kīlauea have been observed, but HVO scientists are closely monitoring the data. The active eruption in Leilani Estates continues.

Updated 1:20 p.m.

The United States Geological Survey has upgraded the 12:33 p.m. earthquake to a 6.9 magnitude.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense is reporting some minor damage to some buildings following the earthquake.

Water movement was also observed but there is still no tsunami threat.

Original story published at 1:13 p.m.

Another large earthquake shook Hawai`i Island on Friday.

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake happened at about 12:33 p.m. and was centered in the vicinity of the south flank of Kilauea volcano.

Hawai`i County officials say this earthquake was not large enough to cause a tsunami for the island of Hawai’i.

An earlier 5.6 magnitude rattled just an hour earlier. 

The earthquakes are among several slightly small quakes that have occurred on the island on Friday.