Sunday, October 15, 2006


Earthquake in Hawaii

A M 6.6 earthquake occurred in Hawaii today at 7:07 AM local time. The summary page from the NEIC is here and a page listing the main earthquake and many aftershocks (including an M 5.8 event) is here.

On the image below the M 6.6 earthquake is the star (you can see from the historic seismicity that Hawaii is a pretty active place):

Here's a map showing the activity today (all of the events are from Oct. 15 except for one from the 11th and one from the 10th):

The earthquake was 39 km deep, and from the moment tensor solution it was a strike slip event, which generally don't generate tsunami (there's not a lot of vertical displacement during a strike slip event so there's not a lot of water displaced):

Here's the shakemap for the event:

The most intense shaking was 6 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale which means light potential damage for earthquake resistant structures (things like wood frame houses, modern buildings designed with earthquakes in mind and seismically retrofitted older structures) and moderate potential damage for vulnerable structures (unreinforced masonry, buildings with soft first stories, older buildings) . Here's CNN's coverage. According to them communications have been disrupted, but there are no reports of injuries or building damage. There were concerns about the structural integrity of a hospital there, and new patients were being kept outside. The most significant event CNN reports is an earthquake-related landslide near a major highway.

For comparison the largest historic event in Hawaii was an M 7.9 event in 1868 that resulted in 77 deaths from an earthquake-induced landslide and a tsunami.

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