ADVERTISEMENT

5.2 quake on Hawaii’s Big Island felt as far away as Kauai

July 6, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has hit off Hawaii’s Big Island.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) offshore of the northwest coast of the Big Island Monday. The earthquake was about 17 miles (27 kilometers) below sea level.

The epicenter was about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of both Hilo and Kailua-Kona.

The USGS said people reported feeling some light shaking as far away as Kauai with strong shaking near the center on the Big Island. Shaking was reported on all the main Hawaiian Islands.

The earthquake did not change the alert levels for the Big Island’s Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

The Big Island has regular, small earthquakes beneath its active volcanoes, but this quake was not associated with magma moving underground.

“This earthquake is related to stress from the weight of the island on the underlying ocean crust and mantle,” said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon. “These earthquakes are relatively common and not directly related to volcanic processes.”

The biggest previous earthquake on the Big Island’s north shore was a 4.2 in 2010. The last time the Big Island had a magnitude 5 earthquake or greater was in April 2019 on the east side of the island, said USGS geophysicist Jefferson Chang.

The latest earthquake “is pretty deep so it doesn’t really affect the shallow stuff further south,” Chang said, referring to the southern area where Hawaii’s most active volcanoes are.

The Hamakua Coast — where the quake hit — is a remote, sparsely populated area of the Big Island. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake did not produce a tsunami. Aftershocks are likely.

“There’s always the chance for aftershocks, especially with something this big,” Chang said.