4.5 quake shakes Big Island, no tsunami generated

Published: Oct. 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 20, 2011 at 12:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were shaken by a magnitude 4.5 earthquake Wednesday afternoon.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake occurred at 2:10 p.m. 13 miles southeast of Waimea. The earthquakes depth was 11.6 miles.

No tsunami was generated.

According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the earthquake was widely felt on the Big Island.  The USGS "Did you feel it?" Web site  received more than 500 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake.

Scientists say the earthquake was the largest in a cluster of about 20 earthquakes on the north flank of Mauna Kea on Wednesday afternoon.

Most of the aftershocks were too small to be felt, but, as of 3:30 p.m., two earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 3.0 had occurred in addition to the magnitude-4.5 event.

According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, over the past 25 years, the north flank of Mauna Kea has experienced 10 earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0, including today's event, at depths of 10–40 km (6–25 mi).  Deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth's crust due to the heavy load of Mauna Kea.

Adjustments beneath Mauna Kea during past similar events have produced a flurry of earthquakes, with many small aftershocks occurring for days after the main quake.

Scientists say it is possible that additional small earthquakes may be recorded in the coming days.

Today's earthquakes caused no detectable changes on the continuing eruption of Kilauea Volcano.

It was almost 5 years to the day when a major earthquake hit the Big Island. On October 15, 2006 a 6.7 magnitude earthquake caused property damage, injuries, landslides and power outages across the state.

We will have the latest on the earthquakes tonight on Hawaii News Now beginning at 5 p.m.

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