Increased Earthquake Activity in the Pacific Islands

Earthquake activity in the Pacific Islands has increased since June 20th, New Zealand time, with much of the activity around the Fiji Microplates. Thirteen quakes of 4th and 5th magnitude have been reported in the Solomon, Santa Cruz and Loyalty Islands; Vanuatu, Fiji region, Samoa and the Kermadecs.

A shallow magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near Samoa on June 20th and a deeper magnitude 5.0 event struck near the Solomon Islands the same day.

June 22nd was quieter with a magnitude 4.9 quake at a depth of 45 km near Vanuatu.

Activity increased on June 23rd with a pair of deep quakes of magnitude 5.4 and 5.2 in the Santa Cruz Islands. The same day, a pair of quakes, one shallow the other deep, struck south-east of the Loyalty islands. These quakes, with magnitudes of 5.1 and 4.9, struck 2 hours and 20 mins apart.

Another four earthquakes were reported in the area yesterday, the 24th. A magnitude 5.0 quake struck the Santa Cruz Islands at a depth of 56 km. Two quakes of magnitude 5.1 struck at different locations in the Fiji region. Just before midnight, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck 220 km north of Raoul Island in the Kermadecs at a depth of 125 km.

Activity has continued this morning, with a further two earthquakes, this time at great depths, in the Fiji region. The quakes with magnitudes of 4.2 and 4.4 struck at 1:01 a.m. and 7:23 a.m. NZST respectively.

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

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