Earthquake Rattles Vanuatu at 6.6 Magnitude

Vanuatu Earthquake

At 4:03 p.m. UTC on January 1, 2014, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

The earthquake occurred 23 miles (37 km) from the capital village of Sola.  In addition, it was 114 mi (183 km) from Luganville and 275 miles (443 km) from Port-Vila, both located in Vanuatu.

It struck at the coordinates of 13.873°S 167.202°E and had a depth of 121.9 mi (196.2 km).

According to a tectonic summary provided by the USGS, the eastern edge of the Australia plate is one of the most seismically active areas in the world.  The country of Vanuatu is composed of a line of volcanic islands and underwater volcanoes about 1,400 miles to the east of northeast Australia.  Present-day volcano activity is related to the north-eastward subduction of the Australian Plate underneath the edge of the Pacific Plate.

Significant earthquake activity has affected the country in recent years, with the most recent earthquake before today’s occurring three days prior with a magnitude of 4.5.

The beautiful island nation is also a popular tourist destination.

By Nancy Schimelpfening


USGS National Earthquake Information Center

Lonely Planet

Oregon State University

Earthquake Track

3 Responses to "Earthquake Rattles Vanuatu at 6.6 Magnitude"

  1. Nancy Schimelpfening   January 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I appreciate the two readers who pointed out the fact that this was an incorrect photo. I have replaced it with what I hope is a more accurate depiction of the country. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  2. richard   January 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    you should take this post out it hurts Vanuatu tourism as this picture is not Vanuatu and we did not have the damage that this picture evokes concepts i thinks its bad journalism on your behalf please you should take it down now !!!!

  3. Leslie   January 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    This photo actually has nothing to do with the earthquake that occurred this morning, Jan. 2, 2014 in Vanuatu.


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