Latest Earthquake Shows No Observable Impact on Kīlauea Eruption, Experts Say

October 6, 2021, 5:55 AM HST
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A magnitude-4.6 earthquake that rumbled Kīlauea’s lower Southwest Rift Zone had no observable impacts on the current eruption or Mauna Loa, experts reported Tuesday evening, Oct. 5, 2021.

Tuesday’s earthquake occurred at 8:37 p.m. and was located approximately 5 miles east-northeast of Pāhala, at a depth of 20 miles. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon said the quake is part of the ongoing seismic swarm under the Pāhala area, which started in August 2019.

Earthquakes in this swarm occur beneath Kīlauea’s lower Southwest Rift Zone, beneath the town of Pāhala and in an area extending about 6 miles offshore. Most of the earthquakes occur at depths of 15–25 miles. Earthquakes in this region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s.

Hon said webcams and other data streams show no impact on the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea, which began erupting on Sept. 30, 2021. The Alert Levels/Color Codes remain at WATCH/ORANGE for Kīlauea and ADVISORY/YELLOW for Mauna Loa at this time.

Light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, has been reported across parts of the Island of Hawai‘i. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service received over 210 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.


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

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