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
MAG Time/Date Latitude deg. Longitude deg DEPTH Region
 5.5   2012/02/02 17:27:07  -17.963   167.209 22.8  VANUATU
 5.3   2012/02/02 13:57:08  -17.462   167.169 10.0  VANUATU
 4.9   2012/02/02 13:53:45  -17.597   167.191 13.4  VANUATU
 6.9   2012/02/02 13:34:39  -17.810   167.149 10.1  VANUATU
 4.8   2012/02/02 10:44:08  -17.872   168.434 147.2  VANUATU

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

Magnitude 6.9
  • Thursday, February 02, 2012 at 13:34:38 UTC
  • Friday, February 03, 2012 at 12:34:38 AM at epicenter
Location 17.810°S, 167.149°E
Depth 10.1 km (6.3 miles)
Distances 124 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 Uncertainty horizontal +/- 15 km (9.3 miles); depth +/- 2.8 km (1.7 miles)
Parameters NST=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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