USGS HVO Press Release - Two Damaging Earthquakes with Magnitude-6.6 and 5.8 Occur on Northwest side of Hawai‘i Island

Release Date:

Two earthquakes of magnitude-6.6 and 5.8 (preliminary) were recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on October 15, at 7:07 and 7:14 A.M. HST, respectively. 

The first earthquakewas centered in Kīholo Bay at a depth of 39 km (24 miles). The second earthquake was located 20 km (13 miles) northwest of Kawaihae at a depth of 19 km (12 miles). The earthquakes were felt state-wide. Damage has been reported in the Kona and Waimea areas and many highways have been closed by Hawai‘i County Civil Defense. Aftershocks continue; a few have been reported felt.

These earthquakes are unusual for the northwest coast of Hawai‘ii Island. The largest previous earthquake was a magnitude-4.8 that occurred on May 14, 1982 and was located 4 km west of Kawaihae at a depth of 19 km (12 miles). Thirty one earthquakes with magnitudes great than 4.0 have been located in this part of the island since 1960 in no particular pattern except for a cluster of earthquakes that occurred between February and April 1988. That cluster was located about 20 km northwest of Keahole Point on the submarine extension of the northwest rift zone of Hualālai.

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

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