Major Quake, Loyalty Islands

A major undersea earthquake struck the Loyalty Islands early this morning.

Friday 14th January 2011

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck 125 km north-north-east of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands at 5:17 this morning, New Zealand Daylight Time. The quake, centred 135 km south-south-west of Isangel on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu was 6 km deep according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia reports the earthquake as magnitude 7.2 at a depth of 29 km. It estimates that the quake would have caused damage within 120 km of the epicentre and would have been felt up to 1500 km away.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued one bulletin for this event at 5:25 NZDT, reporting the quake as magnitude 7.3 at a depth of 33 km. It advises that no widespread destructive tsunami threat exists based on historical data.

This morning’s earthquake struck along the New Hebrides Trench, southeast of two magnitude 6 quakes that struck on January 9th and a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck on Boxing Day.

Five aftershocks with magnitudes between 5.2 and 5.9 have followed this morning’s event.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies, the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, and Geoscience Australia.]

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