South Pacific Earthquakes

Three moderately strong undersea earthquakes have struck the Kermadec Islands during the past week, with similar-sized quakes near Fiji and New Zealand.

Tuesday 12th April 2011

A burst of moderately strong earthquake activity has occurred along the plate boundary in the South Pacific during the past week, with magnitude five events near Fiji, the Kermadec Islands and New Zealand.

The Kermadec activity has included three magnitude five events. A shallow magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck 172 km east of L’Esperance Rock in the southern Kermadecs on Wednesday 6th at 11:26 p.m. New Zealand time. The quake was 18 km deep. On Sunday 10th, a magnitude 5.0 quake struck 108 km east-north-east of Raoul Island at a depth of 32 km. At 1:34 this morning, a magnitude 5.0 event occurred 54 km east-south-east of Raoul Island (266 km north-east of L’Esperance Rock) at a depth of 38 km.

Much deeper magnitude five events have occurred in the vicinity of the Fiji Islands. A magnitude 5.7 quake struck on the afternoon of Tuesday the 5th of April, a magnitude 4.4 quake struck on the evening of Thursday 7th, a magnitude 5.0 quake struck early morning on Monday 11th, and a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck early afternoon on the same day. The four events near Fiji were between 520 and 570 km deep.

Two magnitude five events have been recorded near New Zealand during the past week.

On the evening of Thursday the 7th of April a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck to the east of Cook Strait. The 7:16 p.m. quake was located 180 km south-east of Castlepoint, 240 km south-east of Wellington, at a depth of 33 km. The quake was felt from Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki to Christchurch.

On the afternoon of Monday 11th, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near Weber in the southern North Island. The 12:33 p.m. quake was centred 20 km west of Porangahau, 30 km east of Dannevirke at a depth of 30 km, and was widely felt in the southern North Island from Taupo to Wellington. Damage was reported at Porangahau.

[Compiled from data provided by the GeoNet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST; and the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

Leave a Reply