An earthquake of magnitude seven struck the southeast of the Loyalty Islands on Wednesday. The United States Geological Survey said it hit at a depth of 10 kilometres. It did not cause a tsunami. The US Tsunami Warning System said there was no tsunami risk for the Philippines.
The Loyalty Islands were located in the Pacific Ocean. It struck around 7:44 p.m. local time, which was also the time of the previous strong earthquake. The quake’s epicenter was at 22.7 South, 170.3 East, southeast of the Loyalty Islands.
The region is seismically active and has recorded more than a dozen M 7+ events in the past century. This region lies within a subduction zone between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. The Australian plate is converging with the Pacific plate at a rate of 2.87 inches per year, and the subduction zone is forming between the two plates. The Loyalty Islands area is extremely active seismically, and the October 7th quake is only the latest event within 250 km.
A magnitude-7 earthquake has struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands, with an epicenter located 525 km (326 miles) southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia. It has caused moderate shaking throughout the southern Pacific Ocean, but authorities do not expect significant damage to occur.
There were no reported fatalities, but the quake has created a tsunami threat for coastal areas in northern New Zealand. The tsunami threat has passed for the moment, but large unexpected currents could still impact coastal areas today. The US Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for the region, but later withdrawn it after further examination.
If the earthquake occurs in populated areas, authorities may temporarily shut down the transportation infrastructure in the area. There may be some minor disruptions, but service will likely resume quickly if there is no damage. In addition, there may be utility outages in the vicinity of the epicenter.