Hawaii News

Update: Big Island quake downgraded to magnitude 5.7

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11:04 a.m. Feb. 9 update: Initially reported as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, the tumbler that struck Hawai‘i Island this morning has since been downgraded to a 5.7 on the Richter scale.

The quake occurred near Pāhala in Kaʻū at 10:07 a.m., 23 miles below sea level. Following the seismic event, it has been confirmed that there is no tsunami threat to the region. 

According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the earthquake had no apparent impact on either Mauna Loa or Kīlauea volcanoes. Numerous aftershocks have been felt and are expected to continue. 

This earthquake is likely associated with lithospheric flexure caused by the weight of the Hawaiian Islands on the oceanic lithosphere.  According to U.S. Geological Survey, the Earth’s tectonic plates are made of the lithosphere, which is a mostly rigid layer extending from the crust into the upper mantle

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As the Hawaiian Islands ride on top of the Pacific Plate, their immense weight bends, or flexes, the lithosphere. 

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. 

At present, the known damages primarily consist of minor landslides, resulting in debris on various roadways. Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works and State Highways teams have responded to clear the areas. 

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As of now, there have been no reports of significant damages.

Original post: A magnitude 6.3 earthquake rumbled the Big Island at around 10 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No tsunami is expected.

The epicenter of the quake was about three miles southeast of Nā‘ālehu. A 2.3 magnitude aftershock was also felt.

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More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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