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4.3 magnitude earthquake shakes Kilauea’s south flank


    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists checking on the status of the lower East Rift Zone fissures this morning reported that no audible noise could be heard from the fissure 8 cone (near center).


    A close view of the fissure 8 cone and the small pond of lava within the vent. The lava is below the level of the spillway that fed the fissure 8 channel from May 27 to Aug. 4.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported a 4.3 magnitude earthquake on the south flank of Kilauea at 6:51 a.m. today. There is no tsunami threat to Hawaii island.

The earthquake comes after several days of low seismic activity at the Kilauea summit, as well as minimal eruptive activity from fissure 8 at the Lower East Rift Zone. Since Saturday evening, the U.S. Geological Survey has reported low activity and lava output from fissure 8.

On Wednesday, the morning overflight crew observed a small, active lava lake within the fissure 8 cone, a weak gas plume and a drained, upper lava channel.

There were a diminishing number of small active ooze outs near the coast on the Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui lobes, the USGS reported, and the laze plume was greatly diminished. Active lava remains close to the Pohoiki boat ramp but has not advanced significantly toward it.

While it is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely, the USGS said a return to high levels of lava discharge or new outbreaks in the area of active fissures could occur at any time.

The last collapse event at the Kilauea summit occurred at around noon on Aug. 2.

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