The shaking continues: Over 1,000 earthquakes rattle Big Island

KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - In just the past week, people on the Big Island have felt over 1,200 earthquakes.

The smallest are about magnitude 1.0. The biggest: A 6.9-magnitude.

So what's causing all the tremors?

Scientists say one reason is the built up pressure of magma traveling through Kilauea's east rift zone.

Currently, there are two direct paths for the magma to travel from the volcano: One to the southwest and the other to the east, toward the Leilani Estates.

As the magma and gases travel from the volcano through these paths toward the surface, they build up pressure on the rocks, causing them to shift and crack.

The USGS says this built up pressure and movement of the magma causes most volcanic earthquakes.

The frequency and strength of these earthquakes have also varied throughout the past week.

Some of them have been hours apart, while others have been separated by less than a minute. According to the USGS earthquake chart, the consistent magnitude has been around a 2.0.

There have been larger ones seen though in the past week — like the 6.9-magnitude earthquake on Friday, which was felt throughout the Big Island to some parts of Oahu.

In fact, that quake was the largest seen in the state in nearly four decades.

With all of these earthquakes, is there a tsunami threat? While the shaking may not stop for a while, researchers say that the possibility of a tsunami occurring is uncertain.

To check for active Hawaii alerts from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, click here.

This story will be updated. 

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