Powerful M7.2 earthquake hits Kermadec Islands Region, New Zealand

Powerful M7.2 earthquake hits Kermadec Islands Region, New Zealand

A very strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.2 (downgraded from M7.4) hit Kermadec Islands Region at 22:54 UTC on June 15, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.2 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The epicenter was located about 908 km (564 miles) NE of Whitianga and 927 km (576 miles) NNE of Whakatane, New Zealand.

Based on preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km (186 miles) of the earthquake epicenter, PTWC said at 22:54.

Image credit: GDACS

There is no tsunami threat from this earthquake, PTWC said 23:52 UTC. "Remain observant and exercise normal caution near sea. Otherwise, no action is required. Minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake over the next few hours."

The quake hit 58 minutes after shallow M6.1 hit off the coast of Tonga, about 1 140 km (700 miles) N of M7.4 epicenter.

M6.1 and M7.4 earthquakes on June 15, 2019. Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles).

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 resistant to earthquake shaking, though some vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are reinforced masonry and unreinforced brick with timber floor construction.

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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