On March 20, 2019, at approximately 15:23 UTC, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 48 km east, southeast of Luganville, Vanuatu. This was followed by a 5.1 magnitude quake that was 98 km from Sucúa, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador. More than 7,000 miles from the Vanuatu.
The epicenter of the Vanuatu quake was located at 15.622̊ S 167.608̊ E with a depth of 125.4 km., while the at epicenter for the Ecuador earthquake was (18m ago, depth 46km)
The earthquake shook off the coast of Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu. There is no tsunami warning at this time.
The United States Geological Survey has categorized this temblor as an alert green, suggesting that there are no risks associated, however, the perceived shaking was strongly felt closest to the quake’s epicenter.
There have not been any damages reported. Locals reported some broken household items, but the structures are fine. There are also no risks of landslides, however, with an earthquake of this magnitude there will be aftershocks that could cause future damage. Locals will need to be prepared.
There was no risk of a tsunami being triggered, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and there were no initial reports of human casualties or property damage in the aftermath or either quake.
Written by Jeanette Smith
USGS: M 5.1 – 97km ESE of Sucua, Ecuador