4.2 Earthquake Between Maui and Hawai‘i: Likely Caused by Weight of Islands

July 30, 2017, 6:30 AM HST · Updated July 30, 6:46 AM
Wendy Osher · 88 Comments

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake was reported at 2:01 a.m. HST on Sunday, July 30, 2017, about 16 miles SE of Kaupō, Maui in the ‘Alenuihāhā Channel between the Islands of Maui and Hawaiʻi.  In relation to Hawaii Island, the quake was 21 miles northwest of Hāwī, Hawaiʻi, and occurred at a depth of 11 miles.

  • Maui earthquake, 7.30.17. Background image courtesy USGS.

    The USGS reports that the quake was also located: 16 miles S of Pukaauhuhu, Hawaiʻi; 33 miles SE of Kīhei, Maui; 41.2 miles SE of Kahului, Maui; 42.5 miles SE of Wailuku, Maui; and 129.4 miles ESE of Honolulu, Oʻahu.

Seismic Network Manager Brian Shiro with the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the earthquake was likely due to bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the island and poses no significant hazard.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement saying there was no tsunami generated, which also had no apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions.

Shake map, 7.30.17. PC: USGS.


The USGS Did you feel it? website received  nearly 100 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake.

The HVO reports that “the maximum intensity of shaking reported by residents on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Moloka‘i, and O‘ahu and computed by the USGS ShakeMap was III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, indicating light shaking.”

On another note, earlier this week, the HVO compiled a detailed report on the 5.3 magnitude earthquake reported on June 8, 2017 off the southern flank of the Kīlauea Volcano, calling the incident the “largest earthquake to strike Hawaiʻi in over a decade.”  The HVO reported that the location and depth of the June earthquake are consistent with slip along or above this south flank fault.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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