Vanuatu – M 7.3 – Today’s Port-Vila earthquake has beaten a Magnitude record

Last update, see below in green

Earthquake Report comment :
Very strong shaking expected on the Vanuatu island of Efate.  Epicenter is only 20 km from the Efate beaches. Luckily 66 km deep. GDACS has issued a green tsunami alert, which indicates that the Tsunami treat for greater Pacific area is very limited. Port Vila got a wave amplitude of 23 cm shortly after the quake.
26,000 people live in a radius of 50 km around the epicenter
46,700 people live in an area of 100 km around the epicenter.
A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Hawaii or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.
Update UTC 6:08 : NOAA issued a new report stating that a limited Tsunami risk exists for the neighboring islands in the Pacific  :

SEA LEVEL READINGS INDICATE A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. A RECORDED
 WAVE AMPLITUDE OF 23 CM HAS BEEN OBSERVED AT PORT VILA, VANUATU.
 THIS IS ONLY AN INITIAL MEASUREMENT OF THE FIRST ARRIVING TSUNAMI
 WAVE. HIGHER WAVE AMPLITUDES MAY YET TO BE OBSERVED ALONG COASTS
 NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. FOR THOSE AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR
 WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF
 ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS
 THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED.
 DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN
 CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO THE CONTINUING SEA LEVEL
 CHANGES AND RAPID CURRENTS.  AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE
 VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST
 BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

Latest report from Reuters Alertnet :  Vanuatu issues alert after small tsunami

Update 7:53 UTC : So far no news from the local press

Update 8:00 UTC : Don Miller, a New Zealand Scientist working in Port Vila did post his experience in facebook a little while ago :
Magnitude 7.5 about 50km away.
Biggest shake I have ever felt – lateral and vertical movement was massive but house has held together ok.  Small 23 cm tsunami has been and gone.

Update 8:08 UTC : A number of powerful aftershocks measuring M 5.8 and M 4.8 are shaking the area again.
So far NO damage has been reported.
Don Miller reports a couple of minutes ago : Another substantial wiggle at 6:58pm (2 hours 35 minutes after the first massive shock)

Update 10:06 UTC : 2 more noticeable aftershocks of M 4.3 at 09:21 UTC and M 5.0 at 9:53 UTC

Update 10:47 UTC : Today’s Port-Vila earthquake has beaten a record : A SOPAC report from the 2002 Earthquake and Tsunami in Port-Vila  from Dr. Shorten states :
On Thursday 3rd January 2002, a magnitude Mw 7.1 earthquake, the largest recorded so far in the vicinity, struck Port Vila (Figure 1). Although a significant event, it was by no means the largest possible in this setting. Estimates of maximum possible seismicity sit around magnitude 7.8.
We can only have respect for his scientific prediction : a 7.5 comes very near the 7.8 he was assuming that could happen.

Update 14:16 UTC : Witnesses said people working in the capital’s tallest buildings were also evacuated, while the powerful quake was felt in the archipelago’s other islands further north. “People were moving to higher ground,” resident Steve Ayong-Nirua told AFP.  Read the Full AFP report
More aftershocks of M 5.1, M5.0 and M 4.7 the last couple of hours.
Magnitude downgraded to 7.3 by USGS

Update 20:48 UTC : New aftershock of Magnitude 5.3 at 35 km depth.
Radio New Zealand International reports : Reports from Vila indicate the quake shook goods off shelves, forcing many shops in town to close early, but there were no immediate reports of major structural damage.
Read the full report

Most important Earthquake Data:
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 04:23:46 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 66 km (afterwards recalculated at 33 km)
Geo-location(s) :
35 km (28 miles) WNW (291°) from PORT-VILA, Vanuatu
240 km (152 miles) SSE (161°) from Santo (Luganville), Vanuatu

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
GDACS Green Tsunami alert

* GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world.  GDACS is a Joint Initiative of the United Nations and the European Commission

QuakeSOS has been developed to help actively people who are caught in an earthquake + delivers "Earthquake Report" information on your iPhoneQuakeSOS is a FREE  iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report.  The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with “Earthquake Report” news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS will be your closest earthquake friend.

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One Response

  1. […] km  VANUATU M 5.8      2010/08/10 05:50:38 Depth 21 km  OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN M 7.5      2010/08/10 05:23:47 Depth 35 km  VANUATU M 5.0      2010/08/10 04:52:41 Depth 87 km  CENTRAL PERU M 3.5      2010/08/10 02:12:31 […]

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