Puna area on Hawaii Island shaken by mysterious “booms”
Kilauea Volcano has always been a sight to see, especially when Madame Pele is at her best. Early Wednesday, the active volcano sparked a swarm of small earthquakes that lasted all day.
“We haven’t seen event rates this high or this size of earthquakes become this large since 2006,” said Wes Thelen, the US Geological Survey’s Seismic Network Director.
The USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded over 60 earthquakes strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea, over a dozen of which were greater than a magnitude 2.0; the largest was a magnitude 3.2 earthquake.
“We are still seeing increased rates of seismisity in that area. We just had a magnitude 2.4 come through during the course of this call,” Thelen said.
A number of people in a triangular area between Seaview Estates, Leilani Estates, and Black Sand Beach Subdivision report hearing a thunder-like sound, or an explosion, and feeling the ground shake around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
“I was at home on my computer at about 8:40 and coincidentally I was blogging about the earthquakes that were happening throughout that time, all of a sudden a loud boom and a half-second later, my house shook,” said Pahoa resident Damon Tucker.
Damon Tucker was about 30 miles away in Pahoa. However, he’s never heard an explosion before an earthquake.
John Drummond, the acting administrator of the Hawaii County Civil Defense, says that the incident cannot be explained at this point in time. Drummond says that he spoke to operators of Puna Geothermal Venture, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and personnel on the ground… no one has an explanation.