Big Earthquake Hits Hawaii Island

Hawaii island was hit by a major offshore earthquake today just south of the island near the Ka’u area and the undersea volcano of Loihi. The earthquake measured 6.21 and was centered at a depth of 21 miles. The earthquake did not generate any tsunami and was felt as far northwest as the island of Oahu.

I did not feel the earthquake which hit at 11:48 AM today (October 10, 2021). My mate Lisa, felt it from our apartment unit. She described it as moderately rolling. It woke her up from a morning sleep. My friend Moses K. in Hilo on Hawaii Island certainly felt it. He estimated the intensity at the time to be around 4 to 5. It was larger. Replies to my post on Facebook indicated:

Keala L.: “Shook me to my core. PTS of 1973 Honoka’a School armory….remember?” I certainly remember the 1973 earthquake. April 26 @ 10:26 AM. 6.25. Like Mose Keala lives in Hilo.

Brenda H.: “I was shaking on the 33rd floor here in Waikiki!”

Here are some informational graphics from the USGS Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory:

The earthquake was also felt on Oahu.

The big red circle is a screenshot of where the earthquake was located with the small circles, reported aftershocks. Orange, yellow and white circles indicate older earthquakes.

Earthquake quick stats

USGS Earthquake Report. October 10, 2021.

USGS Press Release October 10, 2021.

USGS HVO Information Statement —
Magnitude-6.2 earthquake and aftershocks southwest of the Island of Hawai‘i

Release Date: 

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded an offshore magnitude-6.2 earthquake southwest the Island of Hawai‘i on Sunday, October 10, at 11:48 a.m., HST.


The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded an offshore magnitude-6.2 earthquake southwest of the Island of Hawai‘i on Sunday, October 10, at 11:48 a.m., HST.

The earthquake was centered about 27 km (17 miles) south-southeast of Nāʻālehu at a depth of 35 km (22 mi). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at A magnitude-4.3 aftershock occurred at 11:53 a.m., about 5 km (3 miles) north of the magnitude-6.2 earthquake at a depth of 36 km (22 miles). Two smaller aftershocks followed theses quakes and other aftershocks are possible and could be felt.

Strong shaking, with a maximum Intensity of VI, has been reported across the Island of Hawai‘i, and throughout the Hawaiian Islands. At that intensity, very slight damage to buildings or structures may have occurred. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service ( received over 1300 felt reports within one hour of the earthquake.

The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of the earthquake suggest a source due to bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian island chain, a common source for earthquakes in this area.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake had no observable impact on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes. “Webcams and other data streams show no impact on the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea except for a few minor rockfalls reported within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Please be aware that other aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. The Alert Levels/Color Codes remain at WATCH/ORANGE for Kīlauea and ADVISORY/YELLOW for Mauna Loa at this time.”

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

For information on recent earthquakes in Hawai‘i and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at

Volcano updates, photos, maps, and recent earthquake data for Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at

EDITOR’S NOTE: While this blog has not been updated in more than a month, I have to report that Kilauea Volcano started erupting again on September 29, 2021. Today’s earthquake in unrelated to the ongoing eruptive activity at the volcano. I will have something regarding the eruption posted here in the near future.



Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.