The earthquake occurred Thursday at 11:20 p.m. HST around 15 miles south of Fern Forest on the island of Hawai'i (Big Island)

By Jen Juneau
July 03, 2020 10:47 AM
Map of earthquake site in Hawaii

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Hawaii's Big Island late Thursday night.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake occurred at 11:20 p.m. HST around 15 miles south of Fern Forest on the island of Hawai'i (Big Island), at a depth of 6.8 km, or 4.22 miles.

In a tweet following the quake, the Hawai'i County Civil Defense Agency reported, "The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports the earthquake which occurred in the vicinity of the South Flank of the Kilauea Volcano was not large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island and State of Hawaii."

"I say again, there is NO TSUNAMI THREAT to the Island of Hawaii," the group added.

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While there are no reports of damage from the low-level quake as of yet, residents of the island took to Twitter shortly after it occurred to share their experiences.

"Just felt a pretty good little earthquake in Hilo, Hawaii. I'm going to guess 4.5. Now to find the official number," one Twitter user posted shortly after the quake.

"Oop was half-awake about to go to bed just in time for a 4.6 magnitude earthquake. Just another day in Hawaii," another quipped while a third said, "Mini earthquake in Hawaii was kinda scary lmao."

Big Island, Hawaii

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In a Friday press release, the USGS' Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) explained that "Kīlauea's south flank has been the site of 20 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years," and "most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano's south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust."

"The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of today's earthquake are consistent with slip along this south flank fault," the HVO continued. "This earthquake is likely an aftershock of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake as the volcano continues to settle."

"We currently observe no immediate changes in activity at Kīlauea or Mauna Loa as a result of this earthquake. Aftershocks are possible and may be felt," said HVO seismologist Ashton Flinders.