South-west Pacific Earthquakes

Earthquake activity which began near Tonga on Sunday has continued with a burst of activity in the Kermadec and Tongan islands overnight.

A shallow magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck 165 km east-south-east of the Tongan capital Nuku’Alofa at 6:11 p.m. New Zealand Daylight Time on Sunday the 19th of October 2008. Originally reported as magnitude 7.1, further analysis of seismic data by the U.S. Geological Survey has resulted in the quake’s magnitude being lowered with the depth being revised from 43 km to 22 km.

Aftershocks of magnitude 5.6 and 4.9 struck on the morning and afternoon of Monday 20th. All three events were between 165 and 180 km east-south-east of Nuku’Alofa.

Another quake of 6th magnitude struck the Tongan islands early this morning New Zealand time. The 1:56 a.m. magnitude 6.4 quake was located 305 km north of Nuku’Alofa at the greater depth of 230 km.

Three quakes have been reported near the Kermadec Islands. A magnitude 5.0 quake struck 155 km east-south-east of L’Esperance Rock (280 km south of Raoul Island) at 4:52 p.m. on Wednesday 22nd. The quake was 48 km deep.

Activity then moved north with a deep magnitude 4.8 event recorded 355 km north of Raoul Island at 10:11 p.m. A very deep magnitude 5.2 quake struck 520 km north of Raoul Island at 6:04 this morning, Thursday.

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

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