Major Quake, Vanuatu

A deep undersea earthquake struck southern Vanuatu this morning.

Sunday, 4th September 2011

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck 122 km south-south-east of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu at 10:56 this morning, New Zealand time. The undersea quake, centred near the island of Anatom, was 132 km deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia reports the earthquake as magnitude 7.0 at a depth of 101 km. It estimates that it would have caused damage with 100 km of the epicentre, which includes the island of Anatom, and would have been felt up to 1200 km away.

GeoNet’s seismic network, Sunday 4 September 2011

[Click for larger image]
The trace of the quake showed clearly on GeoNet’s New Zealand seismic network. The earthquake’s distance meant that the arrival time at most of the instruments in the North and South islands was almost simultaneous.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued one bulletin for the event at 11:02 New Zealand time. Reporting the quake as magnitude 7.0 at a depth of 136 km, and based on historical data, it considered that a destructive tsunami was not generated.

Today’s earthquake was located to the south of the pair of magnitude 7 Coral Sea earthquakes recorded on August 21st.

[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, GeoNet and Geoscience Australia.]

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