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5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii - ExBulletin

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On Friday, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The quake caused items to fall off shelves and resulted in a power outage in a nearby town, but there were no immediate reports of major damage. The earthquake's epicenter was on the south side of Mauna Loa at a depth of 23 miles, 1.3 miles southwest of Pahala.

Residents and witnesses described feeling the intense shaking, with one restaurant manager in Kona stating that "it shook us so hard it shook some of our knees a little bit." The power outage affected about 300 customers in Na'alehu and was likely related to the earthquake.

This earthquake occurred less than two hours before another earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.6 struck Southern California. Mauna Loa volcano last erupted in late 2022 and is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island. The Hawaiian Islands are located on the Pacific tectonic plate and have some of the largest volcanoes in the world.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory stated that earthquakes in Hawaii can occur for several reasons, including the movement of magma beneath the surface. The force of the Hawaiian Islands and pressure on the Earth's crust and upper mantle can also cause earthquakes. This type of earthquake tends to occur at depths in the mantle, while earthquakes caused by stirring magma tend to reach shallower depths.

Despite the intensity of the earthquake, there were no immediate reports of damage to telescopes atop Mauna Kea, another nearby volcano that houses some of the world's most advanced observatories. The earthquake was also felt in Honolulu, and the Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth described feeling dizzy and initially mistaking the earthquake for side effects from a medical procedure.

Overall, earthquakes are not uncommon in Hawaii, with the majority occurring on and around the Big Island. The state experiences an earthquake of magnitude 5 or greater about once every 1.5 years, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. The earthquake serves as a reminder of the geological activity and natural hazards present in the region.

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