Island Watch: Earthquakes Near Tonga

A series of moderate to strong earthquakes struck at shallow depths south of Tonga this morning, New Zealand Time.

The series of events started with a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, 10 km deep, which struck 270 km south of Nuku’Alofa at 2:50 a.m. It was followed by 3 earthquakes of magnitude 5 nearby over the next 5 hours.

Earthquakes reported near Tonga by the USGS (referenced to New Zealand Daylight Time) this morning are:
2:50 a.m., magnitude 6.2, 10 km deep, 270 km south of Nuku’Alofa
3:10 a.m., magnitude 5.4, 10 km deep, 250 km south of Nuku’Alofa
3:47 a.m., magnitude 5.4, 10 km deep, 255 km south of Nuku’Alofa
7:55 a.m., magnitude 5.3, 10 km deep, 265 km south of Nuku’Alofa

On October 2nd, a magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck nearby at a depth of 49 km.

Earthquake activity elsewhere in the islands has been occurring at a moderate level during the past week. Two earthquakes were reported near Vanuatu – a magnitude 6.3 on October 4th and a magnitude 5.1 on the 8th; the first was very deep, the second shallow. Three earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.3 and 4.6 were recorded at depths greater than 500 km in the Fiji region on October 4th.

[Compiled from data supplied by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

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