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5.2-magnitude quake strikes off coast of Hawaii's Big Island

By Zarrin Ahmed
5.2-magnitude quake strikes off coast of Hawaii's Big Island
The city that had the most exposure to the quake was Honoka'a, which has a population of 2,000. Image courtesy USGS

July 6 (UPI) -- A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck Monday off the northern coast of Hawaii's Big Island, the easternmost island in the Hawaiian chain, officials said.

The United States Geological Survey recorded the quake about 8 miles north of Kukihaele at a depth of 16.7 miles.

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Several people reported feeling the quake as far away as Kauai, the northernmost Hawaiian island. The city that had the most exposure to the quake was Honoka'a, which has a population of 2,000.

Most residents there live in buildings resistant to earthquake shaking, "though vulnerable structures exist," the USGS reported.

"Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses," the USGS said.

Minor tremors have been reported in the region in recent weeks.

Scientists from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory noted that there has been a gradual increase in earthquake and volcanic activity.

"Seismicity has been slowly increasing in recent weeks," HVO wrote, "with a small swarm of earthquakes in the summit region [of Kīlauea volcano] on June 23."

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