HVO: Quake that rocked Big Island wasn’t caused by magma moving underground

Some residents were left cleaning up broken glass following the earthquake.
Some residents were left cleaning up broken glass following the earthquake.(Grace Emanuel/Instagram (custom credit))
Published: Apr. 15, 2019 at 3:41 PM HST
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HAWAII ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Saturday’s 5.3-magnitude earthquake on the Big Island was not caused by magma moving underground.

Geophysicist Brian Shiro said the quake was located at a depth about 15 kilometers ― far deeper than a quake that might be caused by moving magma.

The strength of the quake and multiple aftershocks led some to fear moving lava may be nearing the surface ― and possibly erupt from Mauna Loa.

But the scientists say the quake was due to movement of the crust under the Big Island.

Shiro added that 14 aftershocks from the temblor have been reported so far.

The quake happened about 5 p.m. Saturday and did not generate a tsunami. It was centered about 14 kilometers northwest of Kalaoa.

In online submissions to USGS, scores of Big Island reported feeling the earthquake from — Hilo to Kailua-Kona. Some reported moderate to strong shaking.

Hawaii Island resident Grace Emanuel from Holualoa was outside gardening when the rumbling began.

“I heard it before I felt it,” she said, recalling the quake. “Everything started shaking ... I looked up and my entire house was shaking back and forth”

“I thought, wow this is huge,” she added.

This story will be updated.

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