A magnitude 5.0 Earthquake occurred today on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The quake occurred around 4:30 pm EDT and was centered 4.29 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. The quake caused a number of rockslides. The Pohuiki Road was closed after several large cracks in the pavement were discovered.
The earthquake caused a brief eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. A thick pinkish-gray cloud of smoke and ash rose into the air, with ash falliing downwind of the volcano. The quake was the biggest in a series of hundreds of smaller quakes that have occurred over the past two weeks. Most were magnitude 2.0 to 2.8 and they were coming at the rate of 8 – 10 per hour in the Puna Area. This pattern is similar to the quakes that preceded an eruption of the volcano in Feb. 1955. During that eruption, lava spilled out and covered an area larger than 6 square miles. A team on scientists continues to monitor seismic activity on the island.