Magnitude 4.9 earthquake shakes the island

A magnitude-4.9 earthquake rocked the Big Island this morning, reports the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

HVO reported that, at 9:07 a.m., an earthquake with a magnitude-4.9 intensity originated from the southern coast of the Big Island about 4.3 miles south of Pahala, from a depth of about 7 miles. The quake could be felt as far north as Hilo.

Although there has been heightened seismic activity at Mauna Loa over the past month, with 51 quakes detected there within the past 24 hours, this quake did not originate in the same place. Most of the Mauna Loa earthquake swarm has originated beneath the volcano’s northwest flank.

HVO still reports there are no signs of an imminent eruption, and hypothesizes that movement of magma beneath Mauna Loa is contributing to the heightened seismic activity there.

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