Categorized | Earthquake, Featured, News

Earthquakes rock North Hawaii Wednesday (Oct 19)

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Quakes recorded by the USGS/HVO

Quakes recorded by the USGS/HVO

A series of earthquakes rocked North Hawaii Wednesday afternoon (Oct 19) with the first quake occurring at 2:10 p.m. at a magnitude 4.5M followed by at least four aftershocks of at least 3.0 magnitude and a swarm of smaller aftershocks.

The quakes were centered on the bottom slopes of Mauna Kea on the northwest side toward Waimea.

Reports of the quakes and aftershocks being felt in Waimea, Waikoloa, Pohakuloa and Kona.

Hawaii 24/7 saw reports of pictures falling from office walls and computer monitors shaking on desks in Waimea. In Kaloko, the temblor struck with a big thump followed by 8-10 seconds of shaking.

Several people in Kailua-Kona village reported they didn’t feel a thing.

Meanwhile, at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday evening in Waimea, several people were still talking about their shaky afternoon.

“It was really hard at my house. I felt the whole thing,” said one woman. “Stuff fell off my bookshelf. Pictures and stuff. It was pretty scary at first.”

Others said they ran outside at the first big jolt and were reminded of the 6.7M quake that struck in October 2006 – five years and three days ago.

There is no tsunami threat from these earthquakes according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Hawaii County Civil Defense advises those in the quake area to check for any damage, especially to utility connections for water and power. Residents should be aware of the possibility of aftershocks.

Hawaii County Civil Defense audio message

Magnitude 4.5 earthquake on the north flank of Mauna Kea


Hawai‘i Island, HAWAII—The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.5 earthquake located beneath the Island of Hawai‘i on Wednesday, October 19, at 2:10 p.m. HST. This earthquake was centered about 9 km (6 mi) northwest of Mauna Kea’s summit and 49 km (31 mi) west-northwest of Hilo, at a depth of 18.7 km (11.6 mi).

The earthquake was widely felt on the Island of Hawai’i. The USGS “Did you feel it?” Web site (…) received more than 500 felt reports within an hour of the earthquake.

The earthquake was the largest in a cluster of about 20 earthquakes on the north flank of Mauna Kea on Wednesday afternoon. Most of these aftershocks were too small to be felt, but, as of 3:30 p.m., two earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 3.0 had occurred in addition to the magnitude-4.5 event.

Over the past 25 years, the north flank of Mauna Kea has experienced 10 earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0, including today’s event, at depths of 10–40 km (6–25 mi). Deep earthquakes in this region are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth’s crust due to the heavy load of Mauna Kea.

Adjustments beneath Mauna Kea during past similar events, such as in March 2010, have produced a flurry of earthquakes, with many small aftershocks occurring for days after the main quake. Given this history, it is possible that additional small earthquakes may be recorded in the coming days.

Today’s earthquakes caused no detectable changes on the continuing eruption of Kilauea Volcano.

For eruption updates and information on recent earthquakes in Hawai’i, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at

UPDATED (10/19/11 7:32 p.m.)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also experienced a 3.7 magnitude earthquake at 6:17 p.m. The epicenter was located six miles North-Northwest of Kaena Point.

Editor’s note: If you felt the quake, share it in the comments section below where you were and how it was.

8 Responses to “Earthquakes rock North Hawaii Wednesday (Oct 19)”

  1. Greg Althoff says:

    Felt it in our apartment all the way above Captain Cook.

  2. margaret says:

    Felt the 4.5 jolt here at our house in Kailua-Kona. Hubby & “Joey” (our beautiful dobe) were napping and it snapped them to attention! Me? At my desk on the computer in the office…it was a good bounce!

  3. d&j says:

    a whole lot of shaking going on…16 after shocks so far in Waimea

  4. WaikoloaGal says:

    Felt the first jolt pretty good in Waikoloa Resort area. Felt like a truck hit the building. Two seconds & then it was over. Felt a couple of the aftershocks so far, but not many.

  5. Ethan says:

    I was at the Firehouse Gallery in Waimea and I heard it before it hit, grabbed my friend and went outside. The 4.5 was a large jolt then some shaking. Then about a minute later the 3.6 hit. All in all there were 20 aftershocks.

  6. We felt it in Honomu. I hear there have been at least 25 aftershocks but we haven’t felt any of them…just the original.

  7. Andrea Peace says:

    felt mauka of Milolii near Honomalino, but just for a second. At first I wasn’t sure it was an earthquake until I saw the water in my water cooler sloshing around.


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