Maui News

No Tsunami Threat After Hawaiʻi 4.5 Earthquake

August 7, 2014, 6:39 AM HST
* Updated August 7, 8:32 AM
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Kohala earthquake, 8/7/14. Image courtesy USGS/HVO.

Kohala earthquake, 8/7/14. Image courtesy USGS/HVO.

By Wendy Osher

(Update: 8:32 a.m. HST 8/7/14)

There is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi following a 4.5 (upgraded from a 4.2 preliminary magnitude) earthquake reported at 6:24 a.m. HST on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in the Kohala region of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake occurred at a depth of 10.4 miles and was located: 6 miles WNW of Waimea, Hawaiʻi; 31 miles NNE of Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi; 49 miles WNW of Hilo, Hawaiʻi; 61 miles WNW of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaiʻi; and 158 miles ESE of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, according to the US Geological Survey and the Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports that there is no tsunami expected, however, some areas may have experienced shaking.

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The Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory reports that the earthquake was widely felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi, with a total of 145 “felt reports” recorded within an hour of the earthquake on the agency’s website. Most of the “felt reports” were posted from the Islands of Hawaiʻi and Maui, with a reports of individuals saying they felt the quake from the Kahuku and Hickam areas on Oʻahu, which are 155 miles from the epicenter.

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At 8:30 this morning, the site recorded an estimated 102 people said they felt the quake from Haʻikū; 82 in Hāna; 113 in Kahului; 102 in Makawao; 89 in Kula; and 121 in Wailuku.

As of 7 a.m., Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory said no aftershocks of the magnitude-4.5 earthquake had been recorded.

“Over the past 50 years, the area around Kawaihae has experienced 11 earthquakes greater than magnitude-4.0, including today’s event, at depths of 10–20 km (6–12 mi),” according to the HVO.

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The agency says deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth’s crust to accommodate the heavy load of Mauna Kea and surrounding volcanoes. “Today’s earthquake is in the general region of the 2006 Māhukona earthquake, but is not close enough to the 2006 event to be an aftershock of it,” officials with the Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory said.

The agency reports that today’s earthquake caused no detectable changes on the active volcanoes on the Island of Hawai`i.

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