HAWAII’S Kilauea continues to be plagued by earthquakes months after a major magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the island.
Earthquakes continue to rock Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, more than five months after a power magnitude 6.9 quake shook the Big Island.
The major tremor on May 4 at Kilauea triggered a devastating eruption which left parts of the southeastern corner of the Big Island unrecognisable and covered in a thick layer of lava, as molten oozed from several fissures on the southern flank.
The lava forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people and destroyed at least 36 structures, including 26 homes in the rural Leilani Estates neighbourhood area about 35 miles from Hilo, the island’s largest city and about 25 miles from the volcano’s crater.
The quake was the largest to hit the state in 43 years and even now smaller-magnitude earthquakes in the same area are still occurring.
The US Geological Survey said: “Most earthquakes are caused by patches of rock slipping along a fault plane within the Earth’s crust.
“The area and the distance of slip relate directly to the energy release (magnitude) of the earthquake.”
The latest tremors to hit the island were a series of small magnitude quakes, measuring magnitude 2.5, 2.7 and 2.8, in the space of less than 24 hours.
However these are nothing on the scale of the May 4 magnitude 6.9 quake which struck shortly after midday.
The quake was major enough to be felt across the state and it even generated a minor tsunami along the coast and was preceded by a series of other large tremors.
The USGS said: “The sequence of larger events started with a magnitude 5.1 earthquake at 10.30am local time on May 3.
“A day later, at 11.32am on May 4, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake then claimed the titled as mainshock.