HILO, Hawaii – A 5.0 magnitude earthquake centered under Hawaii’s Big Island caused the ground to shake Friday, but officials cautioned the terrain’s movement was not significant enough to trigger a tsunami.
The United States Geological Survey stated the quake was centered on Mauna Loa's flank, and is near where hundreds of other earthquakes have been reported over the last week. world’s largest volcano.
Mauna Loa is the world’s largest volcano and is one of five that make up the Aloha State.
Due to the increased seismic activity around Mauna Loa, the USGS has issued a yellow advisory alert for the volcano.
An advisory indicates that a volcano is showing signs of unrest and the alert can be upped to either a watch or warning if the potential for an eruption increases.
"Mauna Loa is not erupting, and there are no signs of an imminent eruption at this time. However, Mauna Loa continues to be in a state of heightened unrest as indicated by increased earthquake activity and inflation of the summit," the USGS said.
Data collected along the volcano shows levels of potentially deadly gasses remain stable, and there have been no visible changes in the terrain.
Mauna Loa has been quiet since 1984 when the massive volcano last erupted. Experts say the active volcano is in its most prolonged period without an eruption.
The USGS said increased seismic activity, changes in the terrain and emissions of volcanic gases would be the precursor to any future eruption.
The National Park Service has closed some recreational areas around the volcano due to the increased seismic activity.
Most public areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remain open, and rangers said if additional closures are needed, they will be done on as a precautionary measure.