Strong earthquake strikes off the Vanuatu Islands, no damage expectedJanuary 9th, 2011 - 5:38 pm ICT by BNO News
ISANGEL, VANUATU (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck near the Vanuatu Islands on early Sunday evening, seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.
The 6.9-magnitude earthquake at 9.03 p.m. local time (1003 GMT) was centered about 112 kilometers (69 miles) west-northwest of Isangel a city on the Vanuatu island of Tanna. It struck about 31.1 kilometers (19.3 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
No serious damage or casualties were expected as a result of the strong earthquake, according to the USGS, which estimated that around 100 people may have perceived strong shaking. A further 116,000 people may have felt light to moderate shaking.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned about the small possibility of local tsunamis, but said there is no destructive widespread tsunami threat as a result of the earthquake. No tsunami alerts were issued.
Sunday’s earthquake struck close to the epicenter of a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake on December 26, which generated a small tsunami but caused no damage. The USGS said Sunday’s earthquake was likely an aftershock to the earthquake last month.
Vanuatu is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently in the region.
Most recently, on October 25, a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck just off the Mentawai Islands off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. As a result, a wall of water killed at least 435 people on the islands and impacted more than 20 villages.
And on December 26, 2004, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the west coast of Sumatra. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami, striking scores of countries. In all, at least 227,898 people were killed.
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- Powerful earthquake strikes west of Vanuatu, no tsunami alert - Feb 02, 2012
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