The 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Waikoloa

Gillian Ward, Reporter

The Big Island felt a surprisingly large shake on Saturday. The earthquake was reportedly 14 miles from Waikoloa Village and was 5.3 in Magnitude. It was strongest in the Waikoloa area, but could be felt in Kona and even North Kohala. Because this quake was seismic, and not volcanic, it was a shake rather than a rolling feeling.

The earthquake happened at 5:09 pm and was followed by 3 significant aftershocks. One was a Mag 3.0 at 5:20 pm; the second was a Mag 2.6 at 5:31 pm; the last was a Mag 2.7 at 6:46 pm.

The earthquake was one that felt long, and managed to shake buildings. Guests at the Waikoloa Marriott felt their room shake 6 floors up. Initially, many were worried for the possibility of a tsunami, but the civil defense announcement that arrived at around 5:35 pm assured the public there was no tsunami risk.

Waikoloa Village seems to always be losing power, and this shake was no exception to the rule. Waikoloa Village didn’t have power into the dark evening. As a result, many residents ended up heading to The Queen Shoppes for dinner or entertainment, or just to escape the dark. Power was fully restored by 7:30.

The earthquake also caused some rock fall on highway 11 and highway 19, but no major damages and no injuries from the quake have been reported.

Some of us were lucky to have felt the quake, and we are all lucky no one was hurt. This quake is just one of the amazingly wild things that happen on the Big Island where we get to experience Big weather, seismic activity, and volcanic activity.