USGS HVO Press Release - Magnitude-4.7 offshore earthquake north of Hawai‘i and east of Maui

Release Date:

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.7 earthquake north of the Island of Hawai‘i and east of the Island of Maui on Thursday, March 31, at 11:16 p.m., HST. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has determined that no damaging tsunami was generated (http://ptwc.weather.gov/?region=2).

According to HVO, this earthquake was centered about 83.6 km (51.9 mi) northeast of Honoka‘a, Hawai‘i, and 94 km (58 mi) east of HANA, Maui, at a depth of 19.6 km (12.2 mi). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/seismic/volcweb/earthquakes/.

The earthquake was widely felt on the Island of Hawai‘i. The USGS "Did you feel it?" Web site (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/) received more than 230 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake. Most of the felt reports were from Hawai‘i and Maui, with a few reports from Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. Moderate shaking (Intensity IV) was reported. At these shaking intensities, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

As of 1:30 a.m., HST, April 1, no aftershocks of the magnitude-4.7 earthquake have been recorded. Given the size of this event, additional small earthquakes may be recorded in the immediate area in the coming days.

This earthquake is the largest recorded from the same area since the magnitude-5.3 earthquake that occurred in July 2005. In January 1938, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck northeast of Maui and was felt statewide. These events are related to tectonic bending of the Earth's crust due to the weight of the islands.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Christina Neal the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing eruptions. "HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea resulting from the earthquake.”

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 https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo

USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit USGS.gov, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels

Subscribe to our news releases via RSS, or Twitter

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.