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Moderate earthquake on Hawaii Island

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled Hawaii Island at 6:15 pm (HST), Thursday, 14 January 2021.

Views expressed in this Hawaii Island News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content supplied by “Volcanodiscovery.com.”

Accessed on 15 January 2021, 0508 UTC, Post 22,198.



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Mag. 4.0 earthquake – 5.1 mi east of Pāhala, Hawaii County, USA, on Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 6:15 pm (GMT -10) – 45 minutes ago

Light magnitude 4.0 earthquake at 34 km depth

15 Jan 04:18 UTC: First to report: USGS after 4 minutes.
15 Jan 04:21: Magnitude recalculated from 4.4 to 4.3. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 35.0 to 33.2 km (from 22 to 21 mi).
15 Jan 04:34: Magnitude recalculated from 4.3 to 4.0. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 33.2 to 33.8 km (from 21 to 21 mi).
Update Fri, 15 Jan 2021, 04:24

Magnitude 4.3 earthquake strikes near Pāhala, Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a magnitude 4.3 quake in the United States near Pāhala, Hawaii County, Hawaii, only 9 minutes ago. The earthquake hit early evening on Thursday 14 January 2021 at 6:15 pm local time at a moderately shallow depth of 21 miles. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
A second report was later issued by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which listed it as a magnitude 4.3 earthquake as well.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should not have caused any significant damage, but was probably felt by many people as light vibration in the area of the epicenter.
Weak shaking might have been felt in Pāhala (pop. 1,400) located 5 miles from the epicenter, Naalehu (pop. 870) 16 miles away, Wai‘ōhinu (pop. 210) 17 miles away, and Volcano Village (pop. 2,600) 19 miles away.
Other towns or cities near the epicenter where the quake might have been felt as very weak shaking include Hawaiian Ocean View (pop. 4,400) located 26 miles from the epicenter, Mountain View (pop. 3,900) 30 miles away, Hawaiian Paradise Park (pop. 11,400) 38 miles away, and Hilo (pop. 43,300) 40 miles away.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available. If you’re in the area, please send us your experience through our reporting mechanism, either online or via our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone around the globe who wants to know more about this quake.
If you were or still are in this area during the quake help others with your feedback and file a quick report here.
Download the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic alerts online:
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Earthquake data:

I felt this quake
I didn’t feel it

Date & time: 15 Jan 2021 04:15:07 UTC – 45 minutes ago
Local time at epicenter: Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 6:15 pm (GMT -10)
Magnitude: 4
Depth: 33.8 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 19.218°N / 155.40217°W  (Hawaii CountyHawaiiUnited States)
Nearest volcano: Kilauea (24 km / 15 mi)
Nearby towns and cities:
8 km (5 mi) ENE of Pāhala (pop: 1,360) –> See nearby quakes!
25 km (16 mi) NE of Naalehu (pop: 866) –> See nearby quakes!
31 km (19 mi) SW of Volcano Village (pop: 2,580) –> See nearby quakes!
39 km (24 mi) SW of Fern Forest (pop: 931) –> See nearby quakes!
42 km (26 mi) ENE of Hawaiian Ocean View (pop: 4,440) –> See nearby quakes!
49 km (30 mi) SW of Mountain View (pop: 3,920) –> See nearby quakes!
61 km (38 mi) SW of Hawaiian Paradise Park (Hawaii County) (pop: 11,400) –> See nearby quakes!
66 km (41 mi) SSW of Hilo (pop: 43,300) –> See nearby quakes!
7698 km (4784 mi) W of Washington (District of Columbia) (pop: 601,700) –> See nearby quakes!
7698 km (4784 mi) W of Washington DC (District of Columbia) (pop: 601,700) –> See nearby quakes!

Weather at epicenter at time of quake:
Clear Sky  21.6°C (71 F), humidity: 69%, wind: 2 m/s (4 kts) from S

Primary data source: USGS (United States Geological Survey)
Estimated released energy: 6.3 x 1010 joules (17.5 megawatt hours, equivalent to 15.1 tons of TNT) More info

500 km
500 mi
Leaflet | Map data: © Google Maps
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If you felt this quake (or if you were near the epicenter), please share your experience and submit a short “I felt it” report! Other users would love to hear about it!
Also if you did NOT feel the quake although you were in the area, please report it! Your contribution is valuable also to earthquake science and earthquake hazard analysis and mitigation efforts. You can use your device location or the map to indicate where you were during the earthquake. Thank you!

Data for the same earthquake reported by different agencies

Info: The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
Magnitude Depth Location Source
M 4.0 34 km 8 Km ENE of Pāhala, Hawaii, USA USGS

User reports for this quake (34)

User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
Leave a comment if you find a particular report interesting or want to add to it.
Flag as inappropriate.
Mark as helpful or interesting.
Send your own user report!
Kamuela / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 2-5 s minor initial shake, followed 2-3 seconds later by more intense shake. | One user found this interesting.
61.3 km NE of epicenter [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / single lateral shake / very short It made a small bump of the table I was sitting at. | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)
Kailua Kona / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / 1-2 s Kailua Kona hillside, a bump followed 10 second later by a sharp jolt that rattled the furniture and structure | One user found this interesting.
Captain Cook above choice mart, coffee shack / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 5-10 s It was sort of a long jolt. My dog knew something was up, did not leave my side about 15 min prior. | One user found this interesting.
Hilo above Hilo muni golf course / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / single lateral shake / 1-2 s One strong shake | One user found this interesting.
KailuaKona, HI / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 1-2 s My location…KailuaKona. | One user found this interesting.
Fern acres (45.9 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) Seems like a volcanic adjustment | One user found this interesting.
Kailua kona / Light shaking (MMI IV) / single lateral shake / 1-2 s Sitting on couch it slightly moved a bit. In kona | One user found this interesting.
48.3 km NE of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s The house shook East to west two to three times and I could hear the suspension on my car shaking. | One user found this interesting.
Painted Church Rd / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s It lasted a while, felt like 10sec | One user found this interesting.
49.7 km W of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) Didn’t last more than a couple of seconds. Traveling fast with shaking and no rumbling prior. | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)
121.9 km NNW of epicenter [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / 1-2 s
Keaau / not felt Didn’t feel anything
Honomu, Hawaii / Weak shaking (MMI III)
Kailua-Kona / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 15-20 s
Painted church road, honaunau / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 2-5 s
84.7 km NNE of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s
Hawaiian Beaches (62.1 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 1-2 s (reported through our app)
51 km W of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s
Kawaihae / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s
Kailua-Kona (76.7 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s
Hawaiian Paradise Park (62.1 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s
Honoka’a / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s
Kailua Kona / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating
Hilo, HI 96720 / Very weak shaking (MMI II)
Kauila Kona / Weak shaking (MMI III) / single vertical bump / 2-5 s
I did too!! Strong fast nudge. / Light shaking (MMI IV)
59.4 km NE of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) (reported through our app)
82.9 km NW of epicenter [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / very short (reported through our app)
Keauhou (70.5 km WNW of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 2-5 s (reported through our app)
67.7 km NNE of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s (reported through our app)
83.9 km NW of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 2-5 s (reported through our app)
75.5 km NNE of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) (reported through our app)
48.2 km NE of epicenter [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) (reported through our app)

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts