(BIVN) – A magnitude-5.3 earthquake centered near the 61g lava flow on Hawaii Island startled a tour group Thursday morning, as they hiked out to see the volcanic activity.
“It was totally crazy,” said John Tarson, a guide for Epic Lava Tours who often shares video of the lava flow with Big Island Video News. “I thought someone was messing with me. And when I turned around all of my guests were looking like they saw a ghost,” Tarson said.
The moderate shaking from the quake did not have an apparent effect on Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions. “HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summit or along the rift zones of Kīlauea or at other Hawaiian volcanoes resulting from the earthquake,” said the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Scientist-in-Charge, Christina Neal.
The earthquake was widely felt on the Island of Hawai‘i. Scientists said Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense did not received any reports of damage.
Tarson said the shaking did enable some hardened lava to break apart out on the flow field, giving the tour group a full geological experience.