Tonga Microplate Activity

A burst of earthquake activity has occurred within and under the Tonga Microplate, with ten events recorded during the past week.

Saturday 18th December 2010

Ten earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.8 and 5.6 have struck the Tonga microplate in the South Pacific during the past week. Five of the quakes have been very deep with three shallow events in the vicinity of the Kermadec Islands.

Eight of the earthquakes have been magnitude 5, with five of these events clustered along the plate boundary near the Kermadec Trench and Tonga Trench.

Activity has slowed toward the end of the week, with a magnitude 5.4 quake centred 100 km south of Raoul Island on Thursday afternoon. Since then only one quake of magnitude 4.8 has been reported in the area. The latest event was a deep quake south of the Fiji Islands at 10:38 this morning New Zealand Daylight Time.

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

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