Increased Hawaii Seismic Activity Not Considered a Danger

The most likely cause of the recent swarm is a subterranean movement of magmatic fluids within the volcano, although Neal added the earthquakes could also be caused by gas or fluid escaping from Loihi.

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a Western Washington University professor who has studied Loihi for decades, said its periodic earthquake swarms are “interesting, but not alarming.”

“I think Loihi would have to split in half to create a damaging tsunami,” Caplan-Auerbach said. “And we don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”