USGS HVO Press Release — Magnitude-5.4 Earthquake on the South Flank of Kīlauea Volcano

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A magnitude-5.4 earthquake was located beneath the south flank of Kīlauea Volcano by the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Monday, August 13, at 7:38 p.m. HST.

The earthquake was located about 40 km (25 miles) south of Hilo and 15 km (9 miles) southeast of Fern Forest at a depth of 9 km (6 miles) and was felt island-wide. Several aftershocks have been recorded with the largest having a preliminary magnitude of 3.2.

Earthquakes are common in this area. The largest previous earthquake on the south flank was a magnitude-5.0 that occurred on August 27, 2003. Eleven earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 5.0 have been located in this part of the island since 1975, when a magnitude-7.2 earthquake occurred near Kalapana. Five of these earthquakes have been located within a radius of 1.6 km (1 mile) of tonight's quake and at the same depth, including the magnitude-6.2 earthquake that occurred in 1989.

Despite being 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, HVO's monitoring networks do not suggest any changes have occurred at this time in the current eruption of Kīlauea volcano. If hurricane Flossie permits, HVO scientists will inspect the eruption site tomorrow for any effects of 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

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