Loud booms as M4.6 earthquake strikes near Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii – Imminent Eruption?


A M4.6 earthquake struck near the Mauna Kea Volcano on the Island of Hawaii on March 20, 2016 at around 4:43pm UTC. It created a deep rumbling noise.

The Mauna Kea Volcano is believed to be dormant but not extinct and erupted last about 4,500 years ago. Could this strong quake for the region mean that the volcano will enter a new eruptive phase?

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via USGS

Reports of booms around the Island of Hawaii:

Manoa – Rattling of cabinets and doors, deep rumbling sound. Around the same time in the morning and a Sunday too, of our big, scary one about 10 years ago.

Kula – light shake, dog growled, birds went nuts

Honakaa – Staying at a B&B in Honakaa, Big Island. Strong shaking, and whole house rattles.

WaikoloaOne big bang and then light shaking. No damage.

Kailua Kona – Jolted me awake. “Boom”. Then nothing. No damage. Just startled me.

Waikoloa Village – I was woken up to this shaking and it definately made me jump up out of bed. I would say it was strong because both me and my father were woken up by it enough to still feel it while we were awake. It happened just before 7AM here in Hawaii.

What could this mean?

The Island of Hawaii experiences thousands of earthquakes each year; most are so small that they can only be detected by instruments, but some are strong enough to be felt, and a few cause minor-to-moderate damage.

Most of Hawaii’s earthquakes are directly related to volcanic activity and are caused by magma moving beneath the earth’s surface.

Earthquakes may occur before or during an eruption, or they may result from the underground movement of magma that comes close to the surface but does not erupt.

The northern part of the Big Island is made up of two volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Kohala. Mauna Kea has erupted several times in the last 10,000 years, most recently about 4,500 years ago. This volcano is considered dormant but not extinct.

Is this strong-moderate earthquake at 32km a sign of an imminent explosive eruption?

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1 Comment

  1. Probably the bombing at Pohakoloa Military training Base located on Mauna Kea …Lived my whole life on the Big Island, we don’t have booms with our earthquakes…may have be while bombing at the training base.

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