M-4.1 Quake Occurs Beneath Kīlauea Volcano’s South Flank

March 15, 2021, 2:38 AM HST

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.1 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank on Sunday, March 14, at 8:59 pm.

The earthquake was centered about seven miles southeast of Volcano, Hawai‘i, near the Hōlei Pali area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at a depth of four miles. A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website. More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website.

Light to moderate shaking, with maximum Intensity of V on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, has been reported across the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service ( received over 140 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes.

“Our instrument network has not detected any changes on either Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcano related to this earthquake. Smaller aftershocks are possible and might be felt, he said.”


HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and other Hawaiian volcanoes for changes.


Kīlauea’s south flank has been the site of over 40 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano’s south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust. The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of Sunday’s earthquake are consistent with slip along this south flank fault.

HVO Contact Information: [email protected]


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