4.5M Quake Off Big Island Coast Poses No Tsunami Threat

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.5 earthquake just offshore of the Island of Hawai‘i on Monday, August 12 at 4:42 a.m.

The earthquake was centered about 7 km (4 mi) east of Papa‘ikou at a depth of 42 km (26 mi).

Moderate shaking, with maximum Intensity of V, has been reported across the Islands of Hawai‘i and Maui.  At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service received over 280 felt reports within an hour and a half of the earthquake. 

The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of the earthquake suggest a source due to bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian island chain, a common source for earthquakes in this area. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt.

According to HVO seismic network manager Brian Shiro, “HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes due to the earthquake.” According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

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