The US Geological Survey (USGS) has reported a 5.1 magnitude earthquake has hit off the coast of Australia near Lata in the Solomon Islands. The epicenter of the earthquake was underwater at a depth of 25.6 km (15.9 m). There is no information yet on whether or not this earthquake was strong enough to trigger a tsunami warning for the surrounding area.
Nearby inhabited areas include Honiara, Luganville, and Port-Vila in Vanuatu, and Arawa, Papau New Guinea. The area is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, though closer to the southern end. Here, the eastern edge of the Australian tectonic plate frequently grinds against the western edge of the Pacific plate, creating the perfect recipe for earth-shaking.
The last time the area had a significant earthquake was in February, when the area dealt with an earthquake originally measured at 7.1 then upgraded to 8.0 magnitude. That quake did not immediately trigger tsunami warnings either. The quake hit on a Friday and that Wednesday a wave approximately 1m (3 feet) struck and was blamed for the death of four elderly people and a child in the Santa Cruz Islands. Other surrounding areas saw no evidence of tsunami activity at that time.
By Brandi Tasby