In an interactive imaging map, authorities from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory revealed specific areas where the earthquakes struck as the Big Island volcano continues to erupt and spew boiling lava.
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook Big Island today at 3.39am Hawaii time, which occurred 4km off Kilauea’s volcano, sending plumes of ash shooting into the air.
Other earthquakes included a magnitude 3.6 at 12.15 UTC time a magnitude 3.2 at 09.48 UTC time.
On Monday, two explosions at the volcano’s summit triggered a magnitude 5.4 earthquake, scattering clouds of ash across several kilometres.
Another tremor on Saturday unleashed a magnitude 5.2 earthquake, although there were no reports of any damage.
Earthquakes between magnitude 5 and 6 normally only occur every 10 to 30 years, classed as moderate earthquakes.
Jon Bellini, a geophysicist from the USGS information centre in Colorado, said: “All these earthquakes are being caused because of the ongoing eruption in Hawaii.
“Hawaii is an active volcanic area, and has recently increased dramatically over the past month.
“The eruptions are formed because of magma moving underneath the volcano, draining from different areas and causing the land surface to change in elevation.
“It is the movement and flowing of magma below the crust that is causing the rise in earthquakes on the island of Hawaii.”
Movement of magma from the Hawaii volcano puts a high amount of pressure on the tectonic plates below, and the pressure causes the rocks around boiling lava to crack, creating pressure and triggering earthquakes.
Hawaii’s Big Island recorded its largest earthquake on May 4, with a magnitude of 6.9, which generated small tsunami waves.
Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said: “The summit itself is fairly stable, with continued seismic activity and a high likelihood of additional small explosions.
“The lava flow is contained with a channel flowing to the ocean with only minor outflows.”
Brian Shiro, seismic network manager at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now that a 4.0 magnitude is unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
He said: “Generally speaking, Local tsunamis can be generated by shall near-or-off-shore earthquakes above magnitude 6.8.”
The Big Island volcano continues to cause chaos, as lava erupts from the lower East Rift Zone in the area of Leilani Estates.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said: “Fissure 8 lava fountains continue to heights of 130-140 ft from within the growing cone of cinder and spatter, which is now about 140 ft at its highest point.
“Fountaining at Fissure 8 continues to feed the fast moving channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho. Two prominent entries are creating vigorous steam plumes.
“Offshore of the entries, areas of upwelling have become more dispersed than when initially sighted.
Source : EXPRESS