Shallow M6.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Tonga

Shallow M6.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Tonga

A shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit off the coast of Tonga at 21:56 UTC on June 16, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

The epicenter was located about 97 km (61 miles) ENE of 'Ohonua and 121 km (75 miles) E of Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

There are about 5 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

10 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking.

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

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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