Magnitude-4.2 Earthquake North of Moloka‘i

March 9, 2017, 5:09 AM HST · Updated March 9, 2:15 PM

Molokaʻi earthquake, 3.9.17. PC: USGS/HVO.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a magnitude-4.2 earthquake north of Moloka‘i on Thursday, March 9, at 3:03 a.m. HST.

This earthquake was centered about 40 miles northeast of Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i, at a depth of 17 km km (10.6 miles)..

The earthquake was felt throughout the island chain, from Hawaiʻi to Oʻahu, with the USGS “Did you feel it?” website receiving more than 340 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake. Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV, has been reported. At that intensity, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that no tsunami was generated.


The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of the earthquake suggest a source due to bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian Island chain, a common source for earthquakes in this area. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt.

The earthquake caused no detectable changes in Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, on Mauna Loa, or at other active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

The quake comes after a flurry of 31 earthquakes at Kīlauea Volcano reported on Sunday morning. HVO scientists at the time said the size and location of the earthquake sequence on Sunday suggested a source that may be related to the ongoing pressurized magma storage system beneath the Kīlauea summit area.

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