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No Significant Changes to Big Island Volcanic Activity Following Kona Quake

May 22, 2022, 7:38 AM HST
* Updated May 22, 7:42 AM
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Experts report no apparent changes in volcanic activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea following the magnitude 4.7 earthquake that rumbled the Hualālai region Saturday, May 21.

Hualālai is the third most active volcano on Hawaiʻi Island and typically erupts two to three times per 1,000 years, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported. The tremor was centered about 1-mile east-northeast of Kona at a depth of seven miles below sea level. The quake was felt as far away as Kauaʻi.

No tsunami warning was issued.

Over the past 25 years, HVO reported two earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 4.0 beneath Hualālai volcano, including Saturday’s event. This event was primarily a lateral slip along a sub-vertical fault and does not appear to be directly related to magmatic activity.

HVO Scientist-in-Charge Ken Hon said the earthquake had no apparent effect on Mauna Loa or Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing summit eruption. 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.

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Hualālai last erupted in 1801 and, more recently, had a damaging seismic swarm in 1929 that was probably the result of a shallow intrusion of magma. Hualālai Volcano is monitored by one continuous GPS instrument and a seismometer located southeast of the summit, as well as several instruments on nearby flanks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

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