Strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake hits off the Vanuatu Islands

September 8th, 2010 - 7:21 pm ICT by BNO News  

PORT VILA, VANUATU (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck off the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean on late Wednesday evening, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake at 10.37 p.m. local time (1137 GMT) was centered about 142 kilometers (88 miles) south-southeast of Isangel, a city on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. It struck about 54.1 kilometers (33.6 miles) deep, making it a fairly strong earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The agency estimated that approximately 700 people likely perceived moderate earthquake shaking as a result of the earthquake, which could potentially result in very light to light damage depending on structures. “The population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist,” the USGS said.

The USGS further estimated that approximately 25,000 people likely perceived light shaking, while 29,000 others possibly felt weak shaking that would unlikely result in damage.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the earthquake, and the tremor was not strong enough to generate a tsunami.

On January 2, 2002, a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck approximately 395 kilometers (245 miles) northwest of Wednesday’s earthquake. At least two people were reported injured in the 2002 earthquake that destroyed two bridges and several buildings.

A tsunami was also generated after the earthquake in 2002 but did not cause significant flooding due to the extremely low tide at the time.

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