Strong and shallow M6.4 earthquake hits Solomon Islands


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.4 hit Solomon Islands at 02:44 UTC on October 15, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 22.6 km (14 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles).

The epicenter was located 147 km (91 miles) WSW of Buala (population 2 700), 163 km (102 miles) NW of Malango (population 10 532), and 173 km (107 miles) WNW of Honiara (population 56 298), Solomon Islands.

There are 20 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

5 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 14 000 moderate, and 326 000 light.

Based on all available data there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

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 a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) and unreinforced brick masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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