Maui News

Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake South of Island of Hawaiʻi

December 18, 2016, 8:30 AM HST
* Updated December 18, 8:36 AM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00


The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded an offshore magnitude-4.5 earthquake south the Island of Hawaiʻi on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 a.m.

According to Brian Shiro, HVO’s Seismic Network Manager, this earthquake was centered about 37 miles south of Ka Lae (South Point) at a depth of 22.7 miles.

The earthquake was felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi, with the the USGS “Did you feel it?” Web site receiving over 50 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake. “Weak shaking” was reported.

Today’s earthquake occurred about 43 miles southwest of Lō‘ihi, and was not caused by activity on that submarine volcano, according to the HVO.

The HVO reports that “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.


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 HVO reports.

Big Island earthquake. 12.18.16. PC: USGS

Big Island earthquake. 12.18.16. PC: USGS

Big Island earthquake. 12.18.16. PC: USGS

E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments