Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vanuatu Earthquakes Continued to Shake South Pacific on Friday

The South Pacific Ocean has continued to shake and rattle with earthquakes near the island chain of Vanuatu. The United States Geological Survey has registered several earthquakes of varying magnitude in the past two days with the largest being a 7.1 magnitude that struck at 12:34 a.m. local time on Friday, February 3. These earthquakes have epicenters offshore, about 77 miles west of Port-Vila on the island of Efate in Vanuatu.

* The USGS website shows at least 18 earthquakes (including the 7.1 magnitude quake) in this location since February 1, with one quake measuring 6.0 in magnitude and the larger 7.1 quake. The other quakes in the region ranged in size between 4.7 and 5.7 in magnitude.

* Most of these quakes had moderately shallow depths of around 25 miles or less, but two quakes that struck prior to the 7.1 magnitude temblor were much deeper. Those two quakes struck Thursday morning about 22 hours before the larger quake and Thursday evening, about three hours prior to the larger quake. These quakes were just under 5 in magnitude and they struck farther east, one located 11 miles southeast of Porta-Vila and the other 57 miles northeast of Porta-Vila. These quakes had depths of 91 and 148 miles. Read More