Strong Quake, Vanuatu

A strong undersea earthquake struck Vanuatu this afternoon.

Thursday 17th March 2011

A shallow magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck 77 km west-north-west of Port Vila (210 km south-south-east of Luganville, Espiritu Santo) Vanuatu at 3:48 this afternoon New Zealand Daylight Time. The undersea earthquake was 27 km deep according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia lists the earthquake as magnitude 6.5 at a depth of 0 km. It estimates that the quake would have caused damage within 60 km of the epicentre, and would have been felt up to 750 km away.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin for the event at 3:56 New Zealand time. Their analysis puts the earthquake at magnitude 6.5 at a depth of 35 km. The bulletin advised that, based on historical data, a widespread tsunami threat did not exist.

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

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