Earthquake Activity at the Australia-Pacific Plate

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On Nov. 20, a confirmed 5.1-magnitude (M) earthquake erupted in the area of the Santa Cruz Islands at 23:25 UTC. The coordinates of the epicenter are 165.54ºE 11.60ºS, and the earthquake had a depth of 30 km as reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The cities near the epicenter included Lata, Solomon Islands; Luganville, Vanuatu; Honiara, Solomon Islands; Port-Vila, Vanuatu; and We, Caledonia. The city closest to the earthquake’s epicenter is Lata, which is 106 km away.

Also at 23:25 UTC, two other quakes shook near Lata at a magnitude of 5.1 and a depth of 20 km. The Santa Cruz Islands experienced a second 5.1M quake that was 10 km deep. Since all the shakers were in the ocean, no damage is expected. Also, there are no tsunami warnings at this time, according to the NOAA Tsunami Warning Center.

According to the USGS, aftershocks are often expected with shakers of this magnitude and can happen up to a month later. Seafarers should be aware. However, it is well-known that the Australia-Pacific plate is one of the most seismically active plates in the world.

Most islands and governments are aware of this activity and have safety plans in place. Many areas also have structures that have been built to withstand the shaking from an earthquake, according to multiple reports from the USGS.

Guardian Liberty Voice will share any new information as it is provided.

By Jeanette Smith
Edited by Jeanette Smith


USGS: 5.1M Santa Cruz Islands
Image Courtesy of Daniel Hoherd’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License