Two quakes shake Big Island on Wednesday night

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Map images courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Big Island was rattled by two additional earthquakes Wednesday night following a magnitude-4.2 temblor earlier in the day.

According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a magnitude-3.9 temblor happened just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday 6 miles north-northeast of Hōnaunau-Nāpōʻopoʻo at a depth of 16 miles below sea level.

The earthquake was widely felt on the Big Island, with 110 felt reports in the first 30 minutes after it struck and nearly 500 by Thursday morning. Reported shaking intensity was light and little or no damage is expected.


The depth, location and recorded seismic waves of the quake suggest it was caused by bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian Islands chain, a common source for earthquakes in this area. The event is likely related to stress from the weight of the Big Island on the underlying ocean crust and was not directly related to volcanic processes.

The volcano observatory reported that the earthquake had no apparent impact on Kīlauea, Mauna Loa or Hualālai volcanoes. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.

Another magnitude-3 temblor happened just after 10 p.m. Wednesday nearly 9 miles south of Fern Forest in Puna at a depth of about 3 miles. The smallest of the three had received just 10 felt reports by just before 7:30 a.m. today.


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