Magnitude 4.1 Quake Rattles East of Pāhala

August 18, 2021, 6:25 AM HST
* Updated August 18, 6:26 AM
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A magnitude 4.1 earthquake shook the area east of Pāhala early this morning.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded the quake at 2:02 a.m. It was centered about five miles east of Pāhala, at a depth of 20 miles. Click here for more details available at the National Earthquake Information Center.

Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, was reported across parts of Hawai‘i Island. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake had no observable impact on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes.

“This earthquake is part of the ongoing seismic swarm under the Pāhala area, which started in August 2019,” Hon said. “Please be aware that aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. The Alert Levels/Color Codes remain at ADVISORY/YELLOW for Kīlauea and Mauna Loa at this time.”


Earthquakes in this swarm occur beneath Kīlauea’s lower Southwest Rift Zone, beneath the town of Pāhala and in an area extending about six miles offshore which occur mostly at depths of 15–25 miles.


Earthquakes in this region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s and are posited to be related to deep magma pathways under the island.

For information on recent earthquakes in Hawaii and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

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