HONOLULU (AP) — The 5.0-magnitude earthquake was more powerful than Friday’s string of earthquakes that struck Mauna Loa in Hawaii, the planet’s largest active volcano that scientists say is in “a state of increasing turbulence.”
Smaller aftershocks followed, according to the USGS.
The series began with a 4.6-magnitude earthquake a second before the larger quake, which the USGS previously reported had a magnitude of 5.1.
The first quake was offshore and south of the city of Pahala, followed by a larger quake south of Pahala down a highway, the Hawaii Volcano Observatory said in a statement.
Mitch Roth, Mayor of Hawaii County, said there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries. He later said that there had been some minor damage in Pahala, including tiles that had fallen into the county building.
“Vibration from large earthquakes may have been strong enough to cause minor local damage, especially in older buildings,” the observatory statement said. “The two earthquakes occurred within 24 seconds of each other, causing shaking of longer duration and possibly greater intensity than any of the earthquakes that would have produced alone.”
The observatory said aftershocks could last for several days to weeks and might be large enough to be felt.
Mizuno Superrate, the only grocery store in rural Pahala, said cashier Laurie Tackett, which closed for about an hour and a half after the vibration left broken tractors on the ground and caused a power outage.
“The ground was just shaking,” she said by phone as purchases rang out after the convenience store reopened. “It was a little scary.”
Mauna Loa is not erupting and there are no signs of an imminent eruption at this time.
“This seismic sequence appears to be related to the alterations along the southeast side of Mauna Loa,” the observatory said. “On several occasions, large earthquakes have preceded previous Mauna Loa eruptions, although they were usually larger than today’s earthquakes. It is not known at this time if this sequence of earthquakes is directly related to the ongoing disturbances at Mauna Loa.”
Scientists at the observatory have been monitoring Mauna Loa closely for changes.
Hundreds of responses to the USGS earthquake site reported feeling varying degrees of shaking across the vast island. People close to the bahala reported strong shaking, while others far away felt weaker tremors.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat in Hawaii.
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