Shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit Vanuatu at 14:25 UTC on December 22, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 42 km (26 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 50 km (31 miles).

The epicenter was located 106 km (65.9 miles) WNW of Sola (population 1 171), 242 km (150 miles) NNW of Luganville (population 13 397) and 512 km (318 miles) NNW of Port-Villa (population 35 901), Vanuatu.

There are about 2 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

Some 8 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 298 000 light.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and wood construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS, EMSC, TW


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