East Hawaii News

Seismologists’ Talks Precursor to ‘Great ShakeOut’

September 24, 2013, 5:07 PM HST
* Updated September 24, 6:40 PM
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Earthquakes, a subject near and dear to Big Island residents, will be the focus of upcoming talks by scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Seismologists Weston Thelen and Paul Okubo will present an overview of damaging earthquakes in Hawai`i, current theories on why they occur and what the public needs to know about upcoming tremors.

Weston Thelen. HVO photo.

Weston Thelen. USGS photo.

The talks are both scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Okubo will present one at Room 100 of the University Classroom Building at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, while Thelen’s talk will be part of the After Dark in the Park series at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

The presentations are leading up to the Oct. 17 Great ShakeOut, a global earthquake drill. The exercise, in which Hawaii will participate for the first time, is designed to inform the public about how to survive the next big quake.

Earthquakes have been an integral part of the volcanic past of Hawai`i – and present on the Big Island.

Paul Okubo. USGS photo.

Paul Okubo. USGS photo.

In its latest Volcano Watch column, HVO notes that since 1868, more than 30 earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater have impacted residents across the state.

They include the 7.9-magnitude shaker in Ka`u in 1868 and the one of 7.7 magnitude in Kalapana in 1975, both of which resulted in major changes to the Big Island landscape.

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