South Pacific Quakes Continue

Earthquake activity in the islands of the South Pacific has continued this week with quakes greater than magnitude 4.5 in New Zealand and the Kermadecs, near Tonga and Fiji, and in the Santa Cruz and Loyalty Islands.

On January 21st a deep magnitude 4.9 quake was recorded near L’Esperance Rock in the Kermadec Islands. This was followed by a shallow magnitude 5.5 quake off New Zealand’s Fiordland coast, which GNS Science report as magntude 5.3.

A shallow magnitude 6.0 quake was recorded near Tonga on the evening of January 22nd New Zealand time. A slightly deeper magnitude 6.1 event struck nearby three hours later. A very deep magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded near Fiji after midday on the 23rd (yesterday), and a shallow magnitude 5.0 quake struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands last evening.

Earthquake activity had continued this morning, with a shallow magnitude 5.2 quake near Tonga at 1:20 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time, and a shallow magnitude 5.0 event in the Santa Cruz Islands at 2:41 a.m.

Earthquakes have been recorded far to the east of New Zealand in an area known as the East Pacific Rise where the Nazca Plate (off the coast of South America) and the Pacific Plate are moving apart. Two shallow events of magnitude 4.7 and 5.8 were recorded on January 21st and 22nd, and a shallow magnitude 5.6 event was recorded on the 20th.

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

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