USGS HVO Press Release — Magnitude-4.3 Earthquake Occurred near Lō‘ihi Seamount

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An earthquake of magnitude-4.3 was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on November 24, 2012 at 17:59 HST.


The earthquake was located about 7 km (4 miles) east-northeast of Lō‘ihi seamount at a depth of 17 km (11 miles). No aftershock were recorded within the first 12 hours of the earthquake. The earthquake was felt across the Island of Hawai‘i.

Lō‘ihi seamount is an active volcano situated on the sea floor south of Kīlauea Volcano about 30 km (19 miles) from the shoreline of the Island of Hawai‘i. The seamount is 969 m (3,180 feet) below sea level.

Lōʻihi seamount was the site of a flurry of earthquakes December 6 and 7, 2005. Over 100 earthquakes were located by HVO; the largest was a magnitude-3.5. There was also a magnitude-4.7 earthquake on January 18, 2006.

Two earthquakes occurred in 2005 beneath Lō‘ihi—a magnitude-5.2 earthquake on July 17 and a magnitude-5.1 event on May 13. These two earthquakes are the largest recorded in the general Lō‘ihi region since a magnitude-4.9 earthquake occurred on September 13, 2001.

In July 1996, during a large earthquake swarm, more than a thousand events were located beneath the Lō‘ihi area. Between July 27–28, 1996, nearly 700 events were recorded during a 24-hour period. After the swarm, scientists on submersible dives to Lō‘ihi concluded that the earthquakes were accompanied by a significant collapse of the summit area and an apparent eruption.

Despite being felt island-wide, there were no observable affects on other volcanoes.

Daily updates about 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

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