Hawaii Earthquake: 4.6 Quake Rocks Big Island

March 23, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A Hawaii earthquake that measured 4.6 on the Richter scale is making headlines. The earthquake struck on Sunday, and according to Hawaiian officials, no one was injured.

Hawaii earthquake

On Sunday, March 20, a 4.6 earthquake hit Hawaii at around 6:43 a.m. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, (also known as HVO), released a detailed advisory on the temblor. According to the experts, the quake centered at about 14.0 km east of Waikoloa and 19.8 km southwest of Waimea at a depth of 31.8 km.

The earthquake did not cause any damage, and there were no injuries reported. The experts were quick to determine that no tsunami was generated. Many people residing and visiting Hawaii rapidly took to social media and the USGS’ Did you feel it? website to say that they had experienced the earthquake.

Almost 500 people shared a brief report on what they felt – most said it was mild shaking while few revealed that it was intense. Most of the reports were from the Islands of Hawaii and Maui, with a few coming from Oʻahu.

Lynne Williams, from the Waikoloa Village, said she was awoken by the quake. Williams was scared but happy to report no damage to her home or the houses near hers. She said:

“It was a pretty good shaker!”

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory explained that no aftershocks have been recorded and went on to reveal that it is possible that additional small earthquakes may be striking in the coming days. The statement read:

Over the past 25 years, there have been 4 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 4.0 and at depths greater than 20 km (12 mi) beneath the northern half of Hawaiʻi Island, including today’s event. Deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth’s crust due to the weight of the overlying volcanoes. Adjustments beneath the northern half of Hawai’i Island during past similar events, such as in March 2010, have produced a flurry of earthquakes, with many small aftershocks occurring for days after the main quake.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Christina Neal, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions. Neal shared:

“HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea resulting from the earthquake.”

What are your thoughts on the latest Hawaii earthquake?


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