M6.1 earthquake hits Vanuatu at intermediate depth

vanuatu m6.1 earthquake september 28 2023 location map

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit Vanuatu at 14:40 UTC on September 28, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 127.5 km (79 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 126 km (78 miles).

The epicenter was located 60.4 km (37.6 miles) E of Luganville (population 13 397), and 247.7 km (153.9 miles) NNW of Port-Vila (population 35 901), Shefa, Vanuatu.

178 000 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

vanuatu m6.1 earthquake september 28 2023 usgs epe
vanuatu m6.1 earthquake september 28 2023 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

vanuatu m6.1 earthquake september 28 2023 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

vanuatu m6.1 earthquake september 28 2023 emsc regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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