GEOFON released a preliminary report affirming that a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit south of the Kermadec Islands with a depth of 10 km at 17:34 UTC. At approximately the same time, a 5.1 magnitude tremor shook SE of L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand with a depth of 129 km. The strong quake, south of the Kermadec Islands, was confirmed at a magnitude of 5.1, not a 6.0 as stated in the preliminary report.
Both earthquakes occurred on the ocean floor. The South Karmadec earthquake struck in the South Fiji Basin.
There is a significant amount of seismic activity due to the rate of convergence between the Australia and the Pacific plates. The Australia-Pacific plate’s edge runs from Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec chain isle. It could have been a quake that simply continued down the plate line as the Australian and the Pacific seismic plates forcefully meet. The earthquake that shook the Pacific Ocean floor in New Zealand shook at the Karmedec Trench.
The constant collision of the two plates creates some of the most frequent seismic episodes in the world. The Australia-Pacific plate’s edge runs 3,000 km long.
There have been no injuries or damages reported at this time.
GEOFON: Program GFZ Postdam
USGS: M5.1 – 129km of L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand
USGS: M5.1 – Karmadec Islands
Image Courtesy of Adon Buckley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License