Hundreds Of Earthquakes Shake Hawaii’s Big Island


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Hundreds of earthquakes rumbled through Hawaii’s Big Island in early October as “unrest” continues at the Kilauea volcano.

Kilauea is not currently erupting, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of earthquakes from rattling around the island since Oct. 4, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The frequency of this seismic activity increased significantly Saturday and Sunday, with over 270 occurring over the 48-hour time period.

A majority of the quakes are coming from a region just south of the summit caldera, and at a very shallow depth of two miles, according to USGS. Ground swelling is similar to that seen prior to the Sept. 10 eruption.

Potentially hazardous levels of volcanic gas are present within the region closest to the summit caldera, but this is also common during times of lowered activity. But parts of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park were temporarily closed due to the risk of an imminent eruption, the National Park Service said in an update shared online. (RELATED: Evidence Of Massive Earthquake In US 1,100 Years Ago Suggests It Could Happen Again)

The state of Hawaii witnesses thousands of earthquakes every year, but most are so small they can’t really be detected by humans, according to USGS. While large quakes are not common, at least one magnitude 7 or higher occurs every 55 years or so, the agency said.