Quakes, South of the Kermadecs & Sumatra

Another moderately strong earthquake struck to the south of the Kermadec Islands last evening.

Monday 17th August 2009

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck mid-way between the Kermadec Islands and New Zealand’s North Island last night. The magnitude 5.3 earthquake was located 400 km south-south-west of L’Esperance Rock (455 km north-north-east of Gisborne, 535 km east-north-east of Auckland) at a depth of 35 km according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake struck at 7:27 p.m. Sunday August 16th New Zealand time, just 12 minutes before a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the Kepulauan region of Indonesia.

The Indonesian quake was located 110 km west-south-west of Padang, Sumatra at a depth of 45 km. The second quake triggered a tsunami information bulletin from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre at 7:49 p.m. New Zealand time advising that a widespread tsunami threat did not exist. The bulletin recorded the quake at magnitude 6.9 and was followed by an update at 8:47 p.m. which reported an 18 cm wave event which arrived at Padang at 8:15 p.m., 37 minutes after the earthquake. Noting that a non-destructive tsunami was observed at Padang, the bulletin re-asserted that a widespread tsunami threat did not exist following the earthquake.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies; and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.]

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