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HVO: 4.0 earthquake on Hawaiʻi Island ‘appears to be part of a seismic swarm’

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Hawaiʻi Island earthquake (1.31.21) PC: USGS.

An early morning 4.0 earthquake in the Pāhala area of Hawaiʻi Island “appears to be part of a seismic swarm,” according to US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory seismologist Jefferson Chang.

There were no immediate advisories issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in relation to this event.

The quake was reported at 1:54 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, about 5.6 miles ENE of Pāhala, and 40 miles SSW of Hilo, Hawaiʻi. It occurred at a depth of about 20 miles, the USGS reports.

According to Chang, the swarm has been going on for over a year. “Out of over 10,000 earthquakes that were detected in the area over the past year, four have been magnitude-4 or greater,” he said in an HVO statement.

“The earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes,” said Scientist-in-Charge Ken Hon in a statement issued by the HVO. “The eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at Kīlauea summit resumed yesterday evening and we do not see any detectable changes in that eruption as a result of these earthquakes.”

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By 5 a.m. this morning, there were about 50 ʻfelt reportsʻ recorded on the USGS “Did you feel it?” website, with the greatest amount coming out of Hilo.

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According to the HVO, earthquakes in the region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s and are believed to be related to “deep magma pathways under the island.”

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 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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