Hawaii Rattled By Quakes During Mauna Loa Volcano Unrest

On Friday, a series of earthquakes rattled Hawaii as the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, entered a state of heightened unrest. The strongest quake recorded reportedly had a magnitude of 5.0. It is not clear whether the developments have had any effect on continuing unrest.

Hawaii Rattled By Quakes During Mauna Loa Volcano Unrest
Image credit: Getty Images [via Fox News]

Facts

  • On Friday, a series of earthquakes rattled Hawaii as the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, entered a state of heightened unrest. The strongest quake recorded reportedly had a magnitude of 5.0. It is not clear whether the developments have had any effect on continuing unrest.
  • Several aftershocks followed the quakes, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has said that aftershocks large enough to be felt may continue for days or weeks.
  • Duane Santiago, an employee at the Mizuno Superette in Pahala, said of the event, "I heard the earthquake coming, and then all of a sudden everything started shaking so I had to hold on. I had to hold the walls." Items were thrown from the shelves of the store where he worked and the shaking caused power to go out in the area and forced the use of a backup generator.
  • Mitch Roth, the Hawaii County Mayor, said the shaking was intense enough to cause damage, but that there had only been reports of minor damage to buildings and architecture. There have been no reports of serious injuries related to the quakes.
  • The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a statement stating that the "sequence of earthquakes" was due to "readjustments along the southeast flank of Mauna Loa volcano." While earthquakes have previously preceded eruptions, the observatory added, such quakes have typically been larger in scale.
  • Scientists will reportedly continue to monitor the volcano closely for any changes to its state of unrest. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has noted that it is not concerned about potential tsunami threats to Hawaii at this time.

Sources: Al Jazeera, FOX News, Hawaii, Associated Press, and Washington Post.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Green Matters. There is evidence that climate change causes or exacerbates all kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes. As ice melts, its weight can push down on the earth's crust, triggering earthquakes, tsunamis, and even volcanic eruptions. Though it might not be a direct cause, the manmade climate crisis is making unnatural and extreme weather events worse and more frequent.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Financial Times. It's easy to dismiss any extreme weather event as a consequence of climate change, but in reality they're usually influenced by a myriad of factors that have nothing to do with it. More research is needed before we can establish any direct causal link between the two.

Predictions