Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

USGS HVO Press Release — Magnitude 5.5 earthquake on Kīlauea Volcano's south flank

March 13, 2019

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-5.5 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano's south flank on Wednesday, March 13, at 12:55 a.m., HST. 

The earthquake was centered about 12 km (7.5 miles) southeast of KILAUEA caldera near the HOLEI Pali area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at a depth of 6.7 km (4.1 mi).

Read the full HVO news release and see further details at the National Earthquake Information Center website

A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at, and more details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at

Light to moderate shaking, with maximum Intensity of VI, has been reported across the Islands of Hawai‘i and Maui. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service ( received over 260 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.

According to HVO seismic network manager Brian Shiro, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano. “We see no detectable changes in volcanic activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt.” HVO continues to monitor Kīlaueaand other Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.

Kīlauea's south flank has been the site of 16 earthquakes of magnitude-5.0 or greater during the past 40 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano's south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust. The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of today's earthquake are consistent with slip along this south flank fault.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

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

Volcano updates, photos, maps, and recent earthquake data for Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at

USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit, 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.

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.