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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Island jolted by 4.5 quake

By Gordon Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: http://tux.wr.usgs.gov

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A magnitude 4.5 earthquake shook Big Island residents last night, but did not generate a tsunami.

Quince Mento, Hawai'i County civil defense administrator, said it was "one sharp jolt" but that there were no reports of damage or injuries from the 6:30 p.m. quake.

The quake was centered about 16 miles due west of Honomū, under the eastern slopes of Mauna Kea, he said.

Mento said county officials received reports of the quake being felt in Hilo, Volcano and North Kohala.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Web site last night listed 23 earthquakes recorded on the Big Island in the past two weeks. Yesterday's was the strongest in that group. Most of the other earthquakes were in the magnitude 2 or 3 range, and were hardly felt by people, if at all.

Yesterday's quake was at first measured at 4.4, but later revised by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists to 4.5.

The last tsunami warning in Hawai'i was on Feb. 27, following the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that devastated parts of Chile. That quake generated coastal surges in Hawai'i after its waves traveled for 15 hours across the Pacific, but the state was spared damage or injuries.