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While the world has been ablaze, politically speaking, for well over a year, the island state of Hawaii has been smoldering under the suffocatingly noxious spell of Mount Kilauea.

The island, which owes its very existence to the fabled volcano, is now being threatened like never before in modern history.  Lava flows are creeping steadily across the island, destroying everything within its path.

Incredible images from The Aloha State have been littering social media as of late, including incredible video of a Ford Mustang being consumed by a 4 foot river of lava.

As Continental Americans count their blessings, some Californians have just been handed a stark reminder of their own ticking time bomb of a floor mat.

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A magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck about 6 miles south-southeast of Mt. San Gorgonio on Tuesday morning, awakening residents across the Inland Empire without causing any major damage.

The quake occurred at 4:49 a.m. at a depth of 8 miles, the U.S Geological Survey said. Its epicenter was located in Riverside County, 6.8 miles north of Cabazon and 19.3 miles northwest of Palm Springs.

The magnitude was initially measured at 4.6 before being revised downward.

Residents reported feeling the temblor in San Bernardino, Banning, Lake Elsinore and Colton — as well as such far-flung areas as Woodland Hills and Laguna Niguel.

“It seriously felt like somebody rear-ended me from behind,” Lyft driver David Allison said in an interview in Banning. “The whole car shook — like a very sharp jolt.”

At least 27 aftershocks followed, the largest of which was a 3.2, the USGS said. The magnitude of the smaller quakes ranged from .5 to 2.2.

Thankfully there were no reports of injuries during the quake.

On a global level, however, there are always concerns when Pacific volcanic activity and seismic activity collide, as the “ring of fire” has long been considered the world’s most precarious tectonic situation.

But are these two events related?  The answer is a hard “maybe”.

“The short answer is yes, earthquakes and volcanoes can interact,” said Emily Brodsky, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. However, she noted it’s too early to connect the dots between all the activity we’ve seen these past couple of months and it’s hard to say how much one event has influenced another.

Brodsky added that having multiple earthquakes and eruptions at the same time is not unusual, especially in a region that is so notoriously feisty.

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are often clustered, she said. A volcanic eruption can cause tremors, while a large temblor can rattle a magma chamber underneath a volcano, causing towers of ash and rivers of lava to gush forth. The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile erupted in 1960 just 38 hours after a magnitude 9.6 earthquake, for example.

In either case, we’d like to suggest to our conservative friends in California, Hawaii, and beyond to keep your head on a swivel in the coming weeks.

 

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