Shallow M6.4 earthquake hits Tonga region

Shallow M6.4 earthquake hits Tonga region

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.4 hit the Tonga region at 01:13 UTC on October 1, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 35 km (22 miles). EMSC is reporting it as M6.5 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The epicenter was located 38 km (24 miles) NNE of Pangai, Ha'apai, Tonga.

There are about 1 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

2 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 3 000 moderate, and 90 000 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: TW/SAM, Google

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