Strong earthquakes hit Vanuatu with strongest reaching M 6.9


Several strong earthquakes was reported today in Vanuatu, east of Australia. The strongest reported so far was magnitude 6.9 with epicentre 124 km west of Port-Vila and depth of 10.1 km at 13:34 UTC, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. There was no damage reported. The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) issued green tsunami alert. is evaluating this earthquake as moderately dangerous for 2 reasons: a) the epicenter was far out in the sea (updated to 122 km from Port-Vila) and b) Vanuatu islanders are fairly used to big earthqaukes and even bigger ones than this one have resulted in no damage.

It started yesterday with 4.7 magnitude north of Port-Vila at depth of 240 km and continued today with 147 km deep, 4.8 magnitute, earthquake at 10:44 UTC.

USGS reports
MAGTime/DateLatitude deg.Longitude degDEPTHRegion
 5.5  2012/02/02 17:27:07 -17.963  167.20922.8 VANUATU
 5.3  2012/02/02 13:57:08 -17.462  167.16910.0 VANUATU
 4.9  2012/02/02 13:53:45 -17.597  167.19113.4 VANUATU
 6.9  2012/02/02 13:34:39 -17.810  167.14910.1 VANUATU
 4.8  2012/02/02 10:44:08 -17.872  168.434147.2 VANUATU

USGS report of very strong 6.9 magnitude eq, Feb. 02, 2012

  • Thursday, February 02, 2012 at 13:34:38 UTC
  • Friday, February 03, 2012 at 12:34:38 AM at epicenter
Location17.810°S, 167.149°E
Depth10.1 km (6.3 miles)
Distances124 km (77 miles) W of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu
251 km (155 miles) S of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
294 km (182 miles) NW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
1803 km (1120 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 15 km (9.3 miles); depth +/- 2.8 km (1.7 miles)
ParametersNST=114, Nph=114, Dmin=477.6 km, Rmss=0.9 sec, Gp= 32°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Seismic hazard map of Vanuatu



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