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M4.2 Earthquake on the South Flank of Kīlauea, 11:40am, USGS Statement On The EQ

10:34 PM · May 23, 2021

At 11:40am this morning a Magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook the South Flank of Kīlauea, with a depth of 7.5km. The location and depth of the earthquake have been relatively common following movement of flank that came with the M6.9 of May 4th, 2018. There is no significant change to the status of Kilauea at this time. For the latest update from Philip Ong see this Quick Take: At the time of writing there are 176 people that have reported to have felt the earthquake to USGS. If you felt it as well, you can submit a quick report using this link: USGS has now made a statement on the earthquake: ------------------------ HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY INFORMATION STATEMENT The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.2 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano's south flank on Sunday, May 23, at 11:41 a.m., HST. The earthquake was centered about 15 km (9 miles) south of Volcano, under the Hilina Pali area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at a depth of 7.5 km (5 miles). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, has been reported across the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service ( received over 175 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake. According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Ken Hon, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. “We see no detectable changes in activity at the summits or along the rift zones of Kīlauea or Mauna Loa as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt.” HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. Kīlauea's south flank has been the site of 40 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 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 the steep faults of the pali. A few felt earthquakes preceded this event, including a magnitude-3.6 and magnitude-3.4 earlier in the morning. Aftershocks from this magnitude-4.2 earthquake are likely.

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