M6.1 earthquake hits Vanuatu at intermediate depth

m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 location map

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.

m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 location map bg
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 usgs epe
m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

m6.1 earthquake vanuatu september 21 2023 emsc regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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