Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits near the coast of Solomon Islands


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.3 hit near the coast of Solomon Islands at 05:02 UTC (16:02 LT) on January 27, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 17 km (10.5 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.3 at a depth of 47 km (29.2 miles).

The epicenter was located 105.5 km (65.4 miles) WNW of Kirakira (population 1 122), 139.4 km (86.4 miles) ESE of Honiara (population 56 298), Solomon Islands, and 738.5 km (457.9 miles) SE of Arawa (population 40 266), Papua New Guinea.

There are about 89 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

23 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking and 414 000 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 vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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