The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:00

M 7.5 earthquake hits South Pacific

M 7.5 earthquake hits South Pacific Source: USGS M 7.5 earthquake hits South Pacific Source: USGS.

A strong earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean, east of New Caledonia, on December 5, 2018.

The earthquake was shallow as it struck a about 10 km beneath the surface of the ground. The initial shock, which occurred at about 3:30 pm Australian time, was followed by 5 strong aftershocks ranging from M 5.6 to M 6.0. According to USGS, the incident was a result of normal faulting in the oceanic crust of the Australian plate. 

No severe damage was reported due to the earthquake as the epicenter was located about 310 km away from Noumea, New Caledonia's capital. People in New Caledonia and Vanuatu hardly felt the quake. However, an alert about tsunami waves was immediately issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC). According to PTWC, an area of 1000km could be affected by waves that could reach up to 3 meters height. Officials warned people to stay at a distance of more than 300 meters from the shore in the French South Pacific area. Tsunami waves were indeed observed but their impact was limited.

According to Dan McGarry, media director at the Vanuatu Daily Post, surges about two meters higher than the normal tide waves hit the island of Aneityum but they did not cause any problems.


Read 296 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:23

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