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Earthquake rocks Hawaii island, but causes no damage

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:06 p.m. HST, Mar 24, 2012

An earthquake this morning centered north of Hilo struck in the same region as the 1973 magnitude 6.2 Honomu earthquake.

But today's 10:47 a.m. earthquake, while widely felt, did not cause any serious damage or injuries, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported.

The United States Geological Survey said today's magnitude 4.9 earthquake was centered 1 mile west of Honomu and about 10 miles north northwest of Hilo.

It did not generate a tsunami.

The USGS "Did You Feel it?" website received more than 600 responses. It was felt from Hawi to Naalehu on Hawaii island. Response also came from Wahiawa, Honolulu, and Kula on Maui.

Initial estimates of the magnitude ranged between 4.4 and 4.7. But the USGS revised its estimate to a magnitude 4.9 earthquake after further review.

The USGS said since 1960, there have been six earthquakes of magnitude 4 or higher in the region, including the 1973 earthquake, regarded as one of the most destructive to hit Hawaii. The 6.2 magnitude quake caused an estimated $5.6 million in damage and more than 15 people were injured.

The USGS said earthquakes in the region are generally caused by the  the weight of the volcano.

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