Strong Quake, Vanuatu

A strong undersea earthquake struck near the Banks Islands in Vanuatu early this morning.

Friday 5th March 2010

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck undersea near Iles Banks, Vanuatu at 3:03 this morning, New Zealand Daylight Time. The 200 km-deep quake was located 210 km north of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu (350 km south-south-east of Lata in the Santa Cruz Islands).

Geoscience Australia estimates that the quake would have caused damage within 54 km of the epicentre, an area which includes Vanua Lava, Saddle and Ureparpara islands and the Reef Islets in the Banks Island group. The Torres Islands (Toga, Lo, Tegua and Hiw) are close by. The quake would have been felt up to 700 km away, which includes the former New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands and New Caledonia to the south, and the south-eastern part of the Solomon Islands to the north.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has not issued a bulletin for this event.

During the past week earthquake activity in the area has been centred further north in the Santa Cruz Islands. Earthquakes of magnitude 5.0, 5.3 and 4.9 have been recorded within 155 km of Lata in the Santa Cruz Islands. The three quakes were deep, being at depths of 90 to 230 km.

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

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