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Magnitude-4.9 earthquake deep beneath Honomū area, Island of Hawaiʻi

USGS HVO News Release

March 24, 2012

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.9 earthquake located beneath the Island of Hawaiʻi on Saturday March 24, 2011 at approximately 10:47 a.m. HST. The earthquake was located less than 1 mile west (1 km) of Honomū, HI and 10 miles (16 km) north-northwest of Hilo at a depth of 27 miles (43.5 km).

The earthquake was widely felt across the islands of Hawaiʻi and Maui with over 600 “Did You Feel It?” responses within an hour of the event (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/dyfi/events/hv/60326516/us/).

The earthquake struck near the same area as the 1973 M6.2 Honomū earthquake. Earthquakes in the area are common (several earthquakes per year), especially between 20 mi and 30 mi depth. Since 1960 there have been 6 magnitude-4 or greater events in this region. There may have also been an M6.1 on January 31, 1885 in the same area. Earthquakes at this depth typically occur on weaknesses within the oceanic mantle that are stressed by the weight of the island. There were no aftershocks recorded.

None of the earthquakes had any noticeable effect on the continuing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, nor did they produce any detectable changes at Mauna Loa Volcano.

Daily updates about Kīlauea's ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

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