Another Strong Quake in the Loyalty Islands

A strong undersea earthquake struck the Loyalty Islands this afternoon.

Monday 19th January 2009 (NZDT)

An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck south-east of the Loyalty Islands at 4:35 p.m. this afternoon. The quake was located 130 km west-south-west of Ile Hunter (335 km east-south-east of Tadine) at a depth of 52 km according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia reports the quake at magnitude 6.8 at the shallower depth of 35 km. Their analysis indicates that damage would have occurred within 80 km of the epicentre, and the tremor would have been felt up to 1,000 km away.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin at 4:47 p.m. advising that, “no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.”

An aftershock of magnitude 5.4 struck the area at 4:47 p.m.

Five minutes before the main shock a magnitude 5.3 quake at a depth of 35 km was reported 490 km north of Raoul Island in the Kermadecs.

Today’s quake is the second of 6th magnitude to strike the Loyalty Islands in less than a week. On Thursday a shallower magnitude 6.7 quake struck 145 km west of Ile Hunter. This quake was followed by seven aftershocks with magnitudes between 4.8 and 5.4.

[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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