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USGS HVO Press Release — Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Northwest of Kailua-Kona

April 5, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.5 earthquakelocated near Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai‘i on Sunday, April 5, at 3:23 a.m., HST. The Pacific TsunamiWarning Center determined that no damaging tsunami was generated (

The earthquake has caused no detectable changes on the active volcanoes on the Island of Hawai‘i.

According to Wes Thelen, HVO's Seismic Network Manager, the earthquake was centered about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Kailua-Kona at a depth of 10 km (6 mi). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at

The USGS "Did you feel it?" Web site ( received more than 150 felt reports within two hours of the earthquake. Most of these felt reports were from the west side of the Island of Hawai‘i, which is consistent with the depth of the earthquake. Only light shaking (Intensity IV) has been reported. At these shaking intensities, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

As of 7:00 a.m., HST, Sunday morning, April 4, no aftershocks of the magnitude-4.5 earthquake have been recorded. A magnitude-3.3 earthquake, which occurred near Hawi on the Island of Hawai‘i approximately 3 hours before the magnitude-4.5 earthquake, is unrelated.

During the past 30 years, there have been 23 earthquakes, including this morning's event, in this same area offshore of Keahole Point with magnitudes greater than 3.0 and depths of 5–15 km (3–9 mi). Today's event is the largest earthquake recorded in the area since a magnitude-4.6 earthquake in November 1969. 

Earthquakes at this depth off the west coast of the Island of Hawai‘i are typically caused by abrupt motion on the boundary between the old ocean floor and the volcanic material of the island and are not directly tied to volcanic activity.

For information on recent earthquakes in Hawaii and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at

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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