5.1 earthquake hits during Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano unrest

In this April 25, 2019 photo, Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano, background, towers over the summit crater of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Federal officials raised the alert level for Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The U.S. Geological Survey changed the level from normal to advisory after observing a slight increase in earthquakes and ground swelling over the past several months. Officials say the increased alert level does not mean an eruption is imminent. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) (Caleb Jones, AP)

HONOLULU – A magnitude-5.1 earthquake struck Friday on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet that scientists say is in a “state of heightened unrest.”

People across the Big Island reported feeling light shaking from the temblor.

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said there was no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

At least eight smaller aftershocks followed the quake in the Kau Forest Reserve near the island’s southeastern town of Pahala, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS models estimated a low likelihood of damage from the quake.

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,” USGS said in Friday’s daily update on the volcano. “The unrest is likely caused by renewed input of magma into Mauna Loa’s summit reservoir system.”

Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were monitoring Mauna Loa closely for changes.

Hundreds of responses on the USGS earthquakes website reported weak-to-light shaking across the vast island.

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