4.0 Earthquake Strikes Off Hawaii Coast While Mauna Loa Eruption Continues

MAUNA LOA, HI - NOVEMBER 28: The Big Island's Mauna Loa Volcano erupts on November 28, 2022 on the Island of Hawaii. For the first time in almost 40 years, the biggest active volcano in the world erupted prompting an emergency response on the Big Island. (Photo by Andrew Richard …
Andrew Richard Hara/Getty Images

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i on Tuesday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake comes as the Mauna Loa volcano, the world’s largest active volcano, erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years on the same island, creating spectacular scenes of lava shooting into the air as red smoke illuminated the skies.

The earthquake was reported at 3:37 a.m., located about six miles east of Pāhala at a depth of approximately 20 miles.

“The earthquake was not related to the eruption at Mauna Loa, and had no apparent impact on the ongoing eruptions at Mauna Loa or Kīlauea,” according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory via Maui Now.

The earthquake that occurred is a part of a series of earthquakes that have been occurring in the Pahlala area since 2019.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued no tsunami warning, noting that the earthquake was not large enough for one to occur.

As residents currently do not have to worry about any seismic earthquakes or tsunami activity, there is also no current danger of lava flow threatening downslope communities as a result of the volcanic eruption.

“Lava flows are not threatening any downslope communities,” said Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) at a press conference on Monday via Hawaii News Now.

However, scientists are keeping a close eye on the lava flow activity due to Mauna Loa’s slope being steeper than other active volcanoes on the island, such as Kīlauea, the Associated Press noted. Kīlauea’s volcanic activity in 2018 destroyed approximately 700 houses in the area.

“This has been a very fluid event and things change very quickly,” said Hawaii Island Mayor Mitch Roth. “That’s why we’re trying to be as conservative as we can.”

Officials are hoping the current events mirror the last Mauna Loa eruption in 1984 that came close to the outskirts of Hilo but ultimately did not cause any damage, Maui Now reported.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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