Magnitude 4.4 earthquakes rattles Hawaii Island volcano area

December 14, 2020 GMT

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake struck Hawaii’s Big Island on Monday.

The magnitude 4.4 quake was centered about 12 miles (20 kilometers) southeast of Waimea, Hawaii, at a depth of about 16 miles (25 kilometers).

The earthquake was located on the flank of Mauna Kea volcano.

USGS reported strong shaking across the Big Island and some shaking could be felt as far away as the island of Oahu.

An earthquake of that intensity could cause light damage to some buildings and structures. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.


The area around Mauna Kea has frequent, deep earthquakes, mostly small.

“The northwest flank of Mauna Kea has experienced only 9 earthquakes greater than magnitude-4.0, within the past 60 years,” the USGS said in a statement Monday. “Deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by the structural adjustment of the Earth’s crust due to the heavy load of Mauna Kea.”

David Phillips, the acting chief scientist for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said in the statement that “aftershocks are possible and may be felt.”

Officials continue to monitor the area.

Mauna Kea has not erupted in more than 4,500 years, but officials believe the volcano will erupt again someday.

The earthquake did not change the volcano’s alert level and there are no signs of an eruption.