Strong and shallow M6.6 earthquake hits Vanuatu
A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.6 hit Vanuatu at 18:04 UTC on March 2, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 10 km.
The epicenter was located 80.9 km (50.3 miles) WSW of Port-Olry (population 1 951) and 89.1 km (55.4 miles) WNW of Luganville (population 13 397), Vanuatu.
1 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 23 000 moderate, and 104 000 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.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
There is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
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