A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit Vanuatu at 21:11 UTC on September 21, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 188 km (117 miles). EMSC is reporting the same magnitude and depth.
The epicenter was located 41.6 km (25.8 miles) WSW of Sola (population 1 171), and 168.7 km (104.9 miles) N of Luganville (population 13 397), Vanuatu.
97 000 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.
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
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
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