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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, August 28, 2003

No damage reported in Big Island quake

By Matt Sedensky
Associated Press

An earthquake rattled Big Island homes Tuesday evening, but no damage or injuries were reported, officials said.

The quake registered a preliminary magnitude of about 5.0 and was centered about 8 miles southeast of the summit of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit at about 8:24 p.m., officials said.

Big Island police and fire officials did not receive any immediate reports of damage or injuries, but the quake was felt throughout the island, from Laupahoehoe to Captain Cook and from Hilo to Kailua, Kona.

In Kailua, Kona, Mike Stanton said the quake was one of the most significant he had felt in recent memory.

"The house was moving," Stanton said. "It made the lamps vibrate and it made small creaking noises." The vibrations, which Stanton said lasted about 12 seconds, awakened his five cats.

Chip McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Center in Honolulu, said there was no immediate change in sea levels and no apparent risk for a tsunami.

Various agencies reported the magnitude between 4.5 and 5.3. McCreery — whose center reported the 5.3 figure — said tsunamis do not typically become a concern until the magnitude reaches 7.0.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park can register dozens of earthquakes in a month, but most are far too small to be felt as widely as the one Tuesday.