Earthquakes – Vanuatu and Kermadecs

Shallow earthquakes of magnitude six and five have struck Vanuatu and the Kermadec Islands today.

Thursday 10th June 2010

A shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck 110 km north-north-east of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu at 11:23 New Zealand time this morning. The 18 km deep quake was centred 155 km south-east of the Vanuatu capital Port Vila, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia also reports the quake as magnitude 6.0 but at the shallower depth of 4 km. It estimates that the quake would have caused damage within 36 km of the epicentre and would have been felt up to 450 km away.

The earthquake was centred off the eastern coast of the Island of Erromango, 100-odd km north of the Yasur volcano. The alert status of Yasur was raised to 3 (moderate to large eruption) on May 27th. The significant explosions and ash falls recorded at the end of May have since subsided, and the alert status was decreased to level 2 (moderate eruptions) by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory today.

At 3:08 p.m. a magnitude 5.0 quake struck 160 km east-north-east of L’Esperance Rock in the Kermadec Islands at a depth of 26 km. The quake’s epicentre was 990 km north-east of Auckland.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey, Geoscience Australia, and Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory and their contributing agencies.]

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