No tsunami after 5.3 quake off Big Island

No tsunami after 5.3 quake off Big Island

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has occurred off the coast of the Big Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said.  The quake was at a depth of 25 miles and was not strong enough to generate a tsunami threat to Hawaii.

The quake was centered 34 miles southeast of Pahala and 56 miles south of Hilo, but was felt across the state.  Hundreds of comments have come into the Hawaii News Now Facebook page describing the rumble.

"Felt it in Kailua on Oahu, hearts still racing," wrote Shirley Okumura.

"The house was jiggling in Pauoa, Oahu," said Mahealani Villanueva.

"I actually [saw] my house and car shake while in my garage.  Talk about spooky," wrote Mel N Rod.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the following report after the earthquake, "No tsunami is expected. Repeat. No tsunami is expected. However...some areas may have experienced strong shaking. This will be the only statement issued for this event unless additional data are received."

Here is a link to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

According to Wes Thelen, the Seismic Network Manager at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), the earthquake was located 12 miles east of Lo`ihi, but does not appear to be associated with the submarine volcano. "The earthquake was most likely a structural adjustment of the Earth's crust due to the weight of Hawai'i Island on the underlying mantle," he said.

HVO's seismic records show that another earthquake of similar magnitude and depth occurred in this same general area in 2005.

HVO geologist Tim Orr says that the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kilauea's ongoing eruptions.  "HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summits or rift zones of Kilauea or other Hawaiian volcanoes."

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