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