Maui News

4.1 magnitude earthquake on Big Island likely caused by bending beneath Kīlauea Volcano

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4.1 magnitude earthquake reported at 4:27 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023. PC: USGS

There was no tsunami generated by a 4.1 magnitude earthquake reported at 4:27 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023 about 8 miles southwest of Volcano on Hawaiʻi Island at a depth of 17 miles below sea level.

A smaller, magnitude-3.4, aftershock occurred in the same region and depth at 4:42 p.m., according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The HVO issued an information statement after the event saying the earthquake is of uncertain origin, but most likely due to bending of the lithosphere beneath Kīlauea volcano.


HVO scientists say the earthquake had no apparent impact on either Mauna Loa or Kīlauea volcanoes.

“The location just to the northeast of Mauna iki is too far north to be related to Pahala earthquakes and its depth is well below the magma plumbing system within Kīlauea in this region. These earthquakes are not related to the recent activity south and west of Kīlauea and are not expected to lead to any significant changes,” according to the HVO.

There were more than 170 felt reports within the first hour of the quake, according to information gathered from the USGS Did You Feel It? website.

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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