7 magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu
A strong 7 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu on Friday 29th of April. According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake hit the Malekula island. The earthquake was centered 200 km northwest of capital Port Vila about 35 km below the surface. However, the authorities have said that there is no Tsunami threat and no report of damage or injury.
Vanuatu: Country profile
The Republic of Vanuatu is a Pacific Island nation located 1,750 km east of northern Australia. The archipelagic nation comprising 80 islands, mainly volcanic in origin, was once known as New Hebrides. With an area of 12,190 sqkm, it has a population of 2,46,000. The nation which gained independence in 1980 from Britain and France has Bislama, French, and English as the major languages.
Vanuatu: A seismically active region
Vanuatu is a part of the tectonically active 'Pacific Ring of Fire' which runs along the rim of Pacific ocean and cause earthquakes and volcanic activity in the region. Therefore, the Vanuatu experiences high seismic activity.
6.9 magnitude quake hits Vanuatu
A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake had hit earlier this month at Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu, which is 407 kilometers northwest of the capital, Port Vila. Its epicenter was located at a depth of 35 km from the surface. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) had then issued a tsunami warning which was later subsequently withdrawn as the threat had largely passed.
Earthquakes: A part of life
Earthquakes are so common in Vanuatu that they have become a part of life there. This is the 4th earthquake of magnitude greater than 1.5 to hit the nation this month.
Tsunami warning withdrawn
The National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) had initially warned that the earthquake could generate tsunami waves up to 3 metres high on the Vanuatu coast. However, within 2 hours the tsunami warning was withdrawn and NTWC issued a statement stating that "there is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake". Moreover, no damage has been reported from the earthquake so far.