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Rare quake centers off coast of Oahu

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An unusual 3.5-magnitude earthquake shook homes around Oahu yesterday, capping a wild weekend of seismic activity around the Pacific.

The quake occurred at 3:27 p.m. with an epicenter south of Oahu at a depth of 15.5 miles. An initial analysis had the epicenter under Palolo Valley.

The mild trembling was felt from Kakaako to Kaneohe and myriad other locales.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the only recent quakes near Oahu were in 2002 (3.9 magnitude) and 1980 (4.0 magnitude), both offshore.

Earlier in the day, a pair of minor earthquakes shook the Big Island. At 7:34 a.m. a 2.9 earthquake occurred 30 miles south-southwest of Hilo. That was followed by a 2.4 earthquake roughly 40 miles south-southwest of Hilo at 11:16 a.m.

No injuries or significant damage was reported from any of the quakes, and no tsunami warnings were generated.

On Saturday, just before 8 p.m. Hawaii time, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked the Fox Islands, part of Alaska’s Aleutian chain. The epicenter was in the Bering Sea about 155 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, and its impact was felt all the way to Anchorage, according to the USGS. No injuries were reported and no tsunami warning was generated.

A series of 11 powerful aftershocks, one measuring as high as 5.8 in magnitude, continued through yesterday, the Associated Press reported.

A 5.0-magnitude quake shook Anchorage and other communities in south-central Alaska 10 days ago but caused no damage.

Elsewhere in the so-called Ring of Fire, two strong quakes rattled Papua New Guinea yesterday.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake occurred just after 3 a.m. Hawaii time about 325 miles northeast of Port Morseby, the nation’s capital. At 3:35 a.m. Hawaii time, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the same area. There were no initial reports of significant injury or damage.

Indonesia issued a tsunami warning immediately after the quakes but lifted it later. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.


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