Maui News

No Tsunami Threat After 4.2M (Preliminary 4.7M) Hawaiʻi Earthquake

April 1, 2016, 5:44 AM HST
* Updated April 1, 5:03 PM
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Hawaiʻi earthquake. 3.31.16. Image courtesy USGS.

Hawaiʻi earthquake. 3.31.16. Image courtesy USGS.

There is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi following a 4.2 (preliminary 4.7) magnitude earthquake reported at 11:16 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2016, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded the earthquake north of the Island of Hawai‘i and east of the Island of Maui.

The agencies measured the quake at a depth of about 12.2 miles and say it was located 43 miles NNE of Honoka’a on Hawaiʻi Island; 58 mi east of Hāna, Maui; and and 81 miles E of Kīhei on Maui.

  1. The USGS reports that nearby cities include the following:
  2. 70km (43mi) NNE of Honoka’a, Hawaiʻi;
  3. 104km (65mi) N of Hilo, Hawaiʻi;
  4. 121km (75mi) NNW of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaiʻi;
  5. 130km (81mi) E of Kīhei, Hawaiʻi; and
  6. 283km (176mi) ESE of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

According to HVO, this earthquake was widely felt on the Island of Hawai‘i as well as parts of Maui.  The USGS “Did you feel it?” Web site received more than 230 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake.

While most of the reports were from Hawai‘i and Maui (Hana, Haiku, Makawao, Kula, Kihei, Kahului, Wailuku, Lahaina, Lanai City), a few reports also surfaced from Moloka‘i and O‘ahu.

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HVO scientists say “moderate shaking” of Intensity IV was reported. At these shaking intensities, authorities say damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

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As of 1:30 a.m., HST, April 1, no aftershocks of the earthquake had been recorded. “Given the size of this event, additional small earthquakes may be recorded in the immediate area in the coming days,” according to HVO officials.

According to data compiled by the HVO, this earthquake is the largest recorded from the same area since the magnitude-5.3 earthquake that occurred in July 2005. In January 1938, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck northeast of Maui and was felt statewide. HVO scientists say these events are related to tectonic bending of the Earth’s crust due to the weight of the islands.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Christina Neal the earthquake “had no apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions.”   Neal said, “HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea resulting from the earthquake.”

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