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Earthquake shakes Hawaii island

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A small earthquake shook Hawaii island this morning, but did not generate a tsunami. The magnitude 4.4 temblor struck at 4:37 a.m. on the south flank of Kilauea volcano.

The earthquake was widely felt on the island and generated about 160 responses on the United States Geological Survey’s “Did You Feel It?” website in the first hour. Responses came from as far away as Kaumakani on Kauai and Kaaawa on Oahu.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the epicenter was located in the Pulama Pali area about 7 miles west of Kalapana and  4 miles southeast of the Puu Oo crater, at a depth of about 6 miles.

There were no aftershocks and no reports of serious damage or injuries..

The Pulama Pali on  Kilauea’s south flank has recorded of 23 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater during the past 50 years, with 8 since 1983. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano’s south flank moving southeast over the ocean crust as a result of magma injected into the rift zone.

The earthquake did not have any apparent effect on Kilauea’s ongoing eruption, scientists said. Monitoring networks at the volcano observatory have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summits or rift zones of any other Hawaiian volcanoes.

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