Magnitude-4.7 Shakes Big Island In Hawaii


Salon Staff
January 23, 2012 1:36PM (UTC)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A magnitude-4.7 earthquake and several small aftershocks shook Hawaii's Big Island on Sunday, but there were no reports of injury or damage.

The quake struck beneath the south flank of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at 4:36 p.m. (6:36 p.m. PST) at a depth of five miles, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was about 25 miles south of Hilo and 220 miles southeast of Honolulu.

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The National Weather Service said there was no tsunami threat.

About 20 small aftershocks came in the hours that followed, the largest a magnitude-3.1 about 10 minutes after the original quake.

The temblor was widely felt in Hilo and throughout the island, with about 600 people reporting that they felt light-to-moderate shaking, according to the USGS website.

The quake was initially measured at magnitude-5.0, but it was adjusted to magnitude-4.7 after a seismologist's review.

Joe Lopez, 70, said he felt a "pretty good jolt" at his home in Hilo.

Lopez told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser the quake sent books and other items tumbling to the floor.

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There have been no reports of injury or damage, said Michael Yoshimura of Hawaii State Civil Defense.

Yoshimura said the agency opened its Hilo Emergency Operating Center immediately after the quake, but closed it down when no calls came in after 45 minutes.

The quake struck near the so-called Holei Pali area of Kilauea's south flank has had 16 earthquakes of magnitude-4.5 or greater in the past 50 years — eight of them since 1983, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman Janet Babb said in a statement Sunday night.

The observatory has not detected any significant changes in activity at the summits or rift zones of the Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes, Babb said.

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Salon Staff

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