Shallow 6.2 Mag Strikes Hawaii

Shallow M6.2 earthquake hits near the southwest coast of Island of Hawaii

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.2 hit near the southwest coast of the Island of Hawaii, U.S at 23:48 UTC on October 10, 2021 (11:48 HST).

The earthquake was centered about 27 km (17 miles) south-southeast of Nāʻālehu at a depth of 35 km (22 miles). 10 aftershocks, including M4.3, were registered to 04:43 UTC on October 11 and other aftershocks are possible and could be felt.

2 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking and 36 000 moderate.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there was no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Strong shaking, with a maximum Intensity of VI, has been reported across the Island of Hawai‘i, and throughout the Hawaiian Islands. At that intensity, very slight damage to buildings or structures may have occurred.

The USGS issued a Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and reinforced masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of the earthquake suggest a source due to bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian island chain, a common source for earthquakes in this area, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake had no observable impact on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes.

“Webcams and other data streams show no impact on the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea except for a few minor rockfalls reported within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Please be aware that other aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. The Alert Levels/Color Codes remain at WATCH/ORANGE for Kīlauea and ADVISORY/YELLOW for Mauna Loa at this time.”

All Hawaiʻi Island airports (KOA, MUE, UPP, and ITO) are open, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation said. “Staff are conducting inspections of runways and taxiways per established procedures.”

​No damage to commercial harbors in Hilo and Kawaihae.

HDOT Highways will be inspecting Hakalau and Kolekole Bridges. 

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