A mild earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 struck the Waikoloa area of Hawaii island this morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at about 9:28 a.m., and was centered about 12 miles southeast of Waimea and 32 miles east-northeast of Kailua-Kona at a depth of about 16 miles.
The quake on the northwest flank of Mauna Kea was too small to generate a tsunami, but USGS officials said strong shaking was felt throughout the island.
A quake that strong can cause “light damage to buildings or structures,” according to USGS, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
The USGS’ “Did you feel it?” self-reported online survey recorded more than 650 responses from throughout the island this morning after the temblor.
“This earthquake was widely felt across the island of Hawaii, and even as far away as Oahu,” Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s acting scientist-in-charge David Phillips said in a statement. “Please be aware that aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.”
The region surrounding Mauna Kea volcano has persistent deep earthquake activity, with over 30 usually small earthquakes at depths greater than 12 miles every year, officials said.
Mauna Kea’s northwest flank has seen only nine earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0 in the past 60 years, they said. Deep earthquakes in the area are most likely caused by the adjustment of the Earth’s crust due to the heavy load of Mauna Kea, USGS scientists said.