Strong Quake, Vanuatu

Today’s earthquake activity near Vanuatu has continued with a strong, shallow earthquake recorded mid-afternoon.

Sunday 26th December 2010

Earthquake activity in the vicinity of Vanuatu has continued, with twenty events recorded today. The activity began with a magnitude 7.3 earthquake centred 145 km west of Isangel on the island of Tanna (195 km north of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands) at 2:17 this morning New Zealand time. This shallow undersea quake generated a small tsunami with a sea-level change of 15 cm being measured at Vanuatu.

Eighteen more earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.9 and 5.6 have struck the region since the main event.

Most recently, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 100 km west of Isangel (215 km north-north-east of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands) at 3:14 this afternoon, New Zealand time. The shallow quake was only 8.5 km deep according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia map of Vanuatu

[click image to enlarge] Geoscience Australia map showing the location of today’s magnitude six earthquake.

Geoscience Australia reports the quake as magnitude 6.3 at a depth of 15 km. It estimates that the quake would have caused damage within 50 km of the epicentre and would have been felt up to 600 km away.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia and their contributing agencies.]

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