Magnitude-4.2 temblor shakes isle early Friday morning

A magnitude-4.2 earthquake was recorded southwest of Molokai early Friday morning.

Some Maui County residents felt the temblor that struck at 2:37 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the Big Island.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Oahu, said that the quake did not generate a tsunami.

Earlier Friday, the center said it estimated the quake’s strength at 4.1 in the “deep ocean” southwest of Lanai. But the USGS later said that, although the magnitude was initially estimated at 4.0, a more detailed seismic analyses resulted in a final magnitude of 4.2. Its location was about 4 miles deep in the ocean, 34 miles west-southwest of Maunaloa, Molokai.

No aftershocks were recorded.

Maui County residents reported weak to light shaking, according to the USGS “Did you feel it?” website. No damage was reported.

Observatory records show that three earthquakes of a magnitude of 3 or larger have occurred in the same area in the past 25 years.

According to Wes Thelen, the Volcano Observatory’s Seismic Network manager, earthquakes outside of the island of Hawaii are not uncommon and are typically caused by a structural adjustment of the mantle in response to the weight of the Hawaiian Islands.

“This event is a good reminder that the island of Hawaii is not the only Hawaiian island prone to earthquakes,” he said.

Earthquake activity generally decreases in northwest portions of the Hawaiian Island chain, but the potential for larger earthquakes exists. Earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 6.0 occurred in the Molokai region in 1870, 1871, 1895 and 1894, according to the USGS.