5.5-magnitude quake rattles Big Island; No tsunami generated

Monday, June 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

Monday, June 4th 2018

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) –
A 5.5-magnitude quake rattled the Big Island Sunday afternoon, US Geological Survey officials said.

No tsunami is expected from the quake, which is among the strongest of recent quakes felt around the Big Island. The quake rumbled an area near Kilauea Volcano just before 4 p.m., sending an ash cloud 8,000 feet into the air.

A Civil Defense alert went out across the state informing Hawaii residents of the quake, but there is no statewide danger.

“What is happening here is that this is an explosion that’s actually giving rise to this earthquake,” said Westen Thelen, a United States Geological Survey seismologist. “It does measure a 5.5, but as it turns out, that energy is being released so slowly that for the most part it doesn’t feel like a standard magnitude 5.5 earthquake would.”

Officials say that the afternoon explosion happened in a shallow part of the crust near Kilauea, right up next to the service. Thelen says that despite its magnitude, only people in the area of the volcano would have felt any tremors.

For the most part, if you have a regular 5.5 magnitude earthquake on the Big Island, everyone on the island feels it, everyone on Maui feels it, (even) a few people on Oahu feel it,” Thelen said.

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