Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake Jolts Hawaii’s Big Island

August 15, 2007

An earthquake on Monday jolted the Big Island of Hawaii, which is already under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning.

The magnitude 5.3 temblor struck at 7:38 p.m. local time, about 25 miles south of Hilo, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no reports of injuries or structural damage, although the quake did cause a small landslide, according to Tom Brown, a spokesman for Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Also, the temblor failed to generate a tsunami, Brown said.

Earlier Monday, the weather service placed the Big Island under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning, as Hurricane Flossie approached. A flash flood watch was also issued for the island through Wednesday.

The Big Island is largely rural, with about 150,000 people, and most live in the west or northeast, not the southern portion expected to be hit hardest by the hurricane. Other islands are expected to get much less of the storm’s wind and rain.

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