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Magnitude 4.5 quake strikes 48 miles off Kailua after midnight

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:20 a.m. HST, Jun 21, 2013

A magnitude-4.5 earthquake struck off the north coast of Molokai just after midnight today, the strongest earthquake in the area in more than eight years. It did not generate a tsunami.

The quake hit at 12:04 a.m. and was centered 30 miles north of Kualapu'u, Molokai, and 48 miles east-northeast of Kailua, at a depth of 21.6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake's magnitude was initially reported at 4.0 but was upgraded to 4.5.

The USGS website's "did you feel it" page received more than 60 responses from across Oahu, Molokai and as far away as Kapaa, Kauai, 157 miles west of the epicenter.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach said the earthquake did not generate a tsunami.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said that 10 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or larger have occurred north of Molokai in the past 20 years, including a magnitude-4.1 earthquake on May 20, 2005.

"This is a good reminder that the island of Hawaii is not the only Hawaiian island prone to earthquakes," said Wes Thelen, HVO's seismic network manager. He said earthquakes in this area are typically caused by a structural adjustment of the mantle in response to the weight of the Hawaiian islands.

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